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Michigan Senator warns of critical drug shortage during outbreak


Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is warning there may be a shortage of critical drugs including antibiotics, antivirals, and sedatives if the Trump Administration doesn’t take steps to secure them.

A study released by Peter’s office last year found that 80% of the active ingredients in prescription drugs sold in the U.S. come from foreign countries.

Peters said during the COVID-19 outbreak, those foreign supplies may be at risk.

He said of particular concern is that China is one of the key suppliers.

“So if you’re on a ventilator they give you sedatives. We’re concerned and we’re hearing from hospitals around Michigan they are getting low on those supplies and those drugs aren’t produced here in the United States.”

Peters said places like China are likely to keep the drugs in order to help their own citizens.

“If China has problems, and clearly they do they have major problems right now, they’re going to use those drugs on their citizens instead of sending it to the United States or anywhere else. That’s what we’re seeing right now”

Peters is calling on the Trump Administration to release information about the status of the nation’s drug stockpiles and to begin assessing how to meet a potential shortage.

Senator Peters also said President Trump should use his authority to distribute equipment where it is most needed.

In March, Governor Whitmer said states were often bidding against one another for the necessary supplies.

Senator Peters said states should not be in bidding wars for essential equipment.

“Right now you’ve got hotspots that need more equipment and as we are dealing with an inadequate supply it’s triage. You have to give it to the sickest areas first and know the production will continue to ramp up and you’ll supply other areas. You need a national approach, a national strategy.”

Peters said there needs to be a clear action plan for allocating resources at the federal level. And so far, he said, there doesn’t seem to be one.