As if a global pandemic weren't enough to emphasize the fragility of our healthcare system, the escalating trade war is highlighting our dependence on China for essential medications like antibiotics.
As much as 80% of all antibiotics may depend on Chinese supply chains, but we don't know the exact number.
No one, not even the FDA, actually knows what percentage of medications used in the United States depend on Chinese manufacturing. We don't know which medications are dependent on a given country or specific supplier. We also don't know what domestic capacity we have to produce essential medications should those international supply chains be cut.
In the FDA's words, "...data available to FDA do not enable us to calculate the volume of APIs [active pharmaceutical ingredients] being used for U.S.-marketed drugs from China or India, and what percentage of U.S. drug consumption this represents. As mentioned above, we do not know whether Chinese facilities are actually producing APIs, how much they are producing, or where the APIs they are producing are being distributed worldwide, including in the United States."
Are you reassured by this total lack of transparency into our supply of essential drugs?
At Duration Health, we have already experienced disruptions to our medication supply. In April 2020, azithromycin (a common antibiotic) was in the news as a possible treatment for COVID-19, and a national shortage immediately occurred. Duration Health was unable to source this essential medication for about a month. We have since established a larger inventory of azithromycin and other essential medications in preparation for a spike in demand, a trade embargo, or supply chain disruption.
Be prepared with your own emergency supply of essential medications. Don't wait until you're sick and can't be treated appropriately. Take advantage of supply while it remains.
Duration Health prescribes and ships emergency Med Kits, with basic prescription drugs (including, when medically appropriate, antibiotics) to treat common medical issues. All Med Kits come with 1 year of unlimited access to an ER doctor.