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FDA Commissioner Says China Not Creating Drug Shortages in U.S.

April 5, 2020, 3:26 PM

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said there’s no evidence that any drug is in short supply because China or another country is blocking critical ingredients from flowing into the U.S. market.

“We don’t have any evidence that there is a drug in short supply because of anyone blocking the active pharmaceutical ingredients in the drugs,” Hahn said in an interview with Fox News. “We are monitoring that very closely.”

Some shortages may be evident because of spikes in demand for some medications, he said. The FDA maintains a public database of drug shortages, which can occur for many reasons including manufacturing problems, delays and discontinuations.

Hahn added that it’s critical, in light of what’s been revealed by the coronavirus pandemic, that the U.S. pharmaceutical industry rely on multiple countries to develop medical products such as drugs, ventilators and masks.

“We really need redundancy in the medical products supply chain,” he said. “We cannot be dependent upon any single country.”

But the FDA chief added that the agency doesn’t have the authority to determine where drugs, devices or other medical products are made.

“We can encourage manufacturers to stay at home, or to be in certain areas. But our job once the manufacturer tells us they are going to go some place, and actually manufacture in another country, is to ensure the quality associated with that manufacturing,” he said.

--With assistance from Hailey Waller.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Naomi Nix in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
James Ludden at

Ros Krasny

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