Rik Mehta, a Republican candidate running to unseat Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) recently launched a campaign that will require pharmaceutical companies to disclose the country of origin of their prescription drugs, India New England reported.
“Americans have a right to know where their medicine comes from,” wrote Dr. Rik Mehta, who is also a licensed attorney and pharmacist.
“I can look at products on my body, like my shirt and shoes and know exactly where it was made, but the same doesn’t hold true for things that go in our body, like our prescription drugs,” he continued. “That makes no sense.”
He announced the launch on May 20, then later Tweeted a graphic saying, “STOP CHINESE MANUFACTURING OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE.”
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers the last place a drug was manufactured as its place of origin, according to The New Jersey Globe. The country of origin of the ingredients is not required to be disclosed by law.
However, The Los Angeles Times noted that the country of origin would have to be disclosed somewhere, whether that be online or on the packaging.
Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, recently said that the coronavirus shutdown in countries such as China and India has resulted in at least one drug shortage, impacting the medical supply chain. About 90% of antibiotics come from China.
Mehta, who worked as a Consumer Safety Officer at the FDA, called the current regulations “bizarre and conflicting,” while allowing international companies to profit over U.S. ones. He added that Chinese manufacturing of U.S. drugs has “doubled” and has moved production to other countries to save costs.
“Under my ‘Made in America’ medicines plan, we will bring thousands of manufacturing jobs back to America, provide transparency in the medical supply chain, reduce the price of our prescription drugs, and more importantly, save lives,” he said.
His proposal seems to be taken from the current “Buy American” trade program, launched by White House trade advisor Peter Navarro. Under this, federal agencies are required to purchase pharmaceuticals and medical equipment that is only U.S.-made, as well as detail the country of origin on products, according to The New York Times.
Mehta’s campaign platform includes “building the wall and opposes taxpayer-funded education and healthcare for illegal immigrants,” as well as defending 2nd Amendment rights, free trade, law enforcement, and the “right to life,” according to his campaign website. He is on the ballot for the 2020 Republican primary, July 7.
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