WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced the Securing America’s Medicine Cabinet Act of 2021 (SAM-C) to reduce America’s dependence on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing. The legislation will develop and increase our pharmaceutical workforce and manufacturing by partnering with universities across the country.
“The coronavirus pandemic underscored how dangerous it is to depend on Beijing’s good graces,” said Senator Blackburn. “We cannot continue to rely on China to provide lifesaving medications. My legislation with Senator Menendez will counter Beijing’s growing dominance and help secure America’s medicine cabinet.”
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of investing and supporting biomedical research and innovation as a means for preparing and responding to any national health crisis,” said Senator Menendez. “This bipartisan bill would encourage drug manufacturers to foster partnerships with the brightest minds in higher education to promote medical manufacturing innovation. As we develop new drugs and treatments, it is imperative we also ensure next-generation production of life-saving vaccines and drugs occurs here. We must ensure that more states like New Jersey, a leader in the life sciences industry and higher learning, have the tools they need to enhance existing synergies for medical research, innovation, and manufacturing.”
“Life Science TN appreciates the steps that Senators Blackburn and Menendez are taking to support and secure the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain through the Securing America’s Medicine Act. We believe that the development of Centers of Excellence and meaningful partnerships between academic centers and pharmaceutical manufacturers can spark more pharmaceutical manufacturing in our country, as well as offer opportunities for more high-tech, high-wage jobs in Tennessee and the U.S.,” Paul Fitzpatrick, Board Chairman of Life Science Tennessee.
“It will significantly contribute to improving the quality and safety of medicines, increasing the capacity of domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing and readiness for the next pandemic," said Fernando J. Muzzio, Chair of the NIPTE Faculty Committee and Distinguished Professor in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University.
"Advanced manufacturing is especially critical for the generic sector that accounts for most medicines marketed in the U.S.," said Vadim J. Gurvich, NIPTE's Executive Director and Research Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. “With its 18 member universities, NIPTE represents the majority of the nation’s academic scientific and educational expertise in the field and is ready to work with industry and the FDA on a system-wide implementation on these technologies.”
"VCU is very grateful for the leadership of Senator Blackburn and Senator Menendez in introducing the Securing America's Medicine Cabinet Act of 2021," said Michael Rao, President of VCU and VCU Health System. "By creating Centers of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, this legislation will support innovative efforts like VCU's Medicines for All and grow the workforce needed to secure our country's critical pharmaceutical supply chain and help to prevent shortages of medicines people need to live."
Rutgers University-New Brunswick Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway said, “Rutgers-New Brunswick thanks Senator Menendez for bringing the Senate to act on this visionary legislation, which will allow us to continue our advancement of groundbreaking research to the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing, for the betterment of New Jersey’s and the nation’s quality of life.”
• China dominates global production of medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
• Relying on China for life-saving medications leaves the U.S. vulnerable to potential weaponization of supply chains from Beijing.
• The SAM-C Act encourages the FDA to partner with up to five universities across the country to create Centers of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.
• The Centers of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing will develop the chemical methods and train the necessary workforce to bring this industry back to the U.S. and thereby help secure this vital supply chain.