New House Appropriations Report Calls for Abraham Accords FDA Bureau in First Major Step Toward Reducing Medical Supply Chain Overdependence on China
June 14, 2023
U.S. Israel Education Association
Birmingham, AL (June 14, 2023): The House Appropriations Committee is marking up the Agriculture Appropriations bill and report today calling for the establishment of an FDA bureau in the Middle East’s Abraham Accords region to initiate a strategic shift away from America’s overdependence on China for essential medical and pharmaceutical supply chains.
The report’s language (pages 71-72) includes the call for the FDA to develop a plan with the Secretary of State to expand its international presence, including consideration of a physical office in the Abraham Accords region. An update will be due 90 days after the bill and accompanying report are signed into law.
This move comes at a critical time for American national security which is at risk due to escalating tensions with China and increasing drug shortages. President Biden recently called for the need to “de-risk and diversify our relationship with China,” specifically related to protecting our supply chains.
“The consequence of not fortifying and diversifying America’s medical and pharmaceutical supply chains is now a matter of national security,” Reps. Randy Weber (R-TX), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Rick Allen (R-GA), and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) all said in a joint statement. “Drug shortages have had cascading effects on patient treatment, hospitals, and our military troops. We need to stop the bleeding that is our overreliance on unstable sources for medical products at all stages of the supply chain.”
While the average drug shortage lasts about 1.5 years, more than 15 critical drug products have been in shortage for over a decade, and the number of active drug shortages in the U.S. reached a five-year peak of 295 at the end of 2022, according to a report released by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Following today’s markup, the bill and accompanying report will then proceed to the floor to be voted on by the full House.
The impetus for establishing an FDA bureau in the Middle East was borne out of a Congressional tour to Israel in August 2019 led by the United States Israel Education Association (USIEA), and it has since gained favorable momentum among bipartisan members of Congress who are concerned about America’s overreliance on China.
USIEA, together with members of Congress and health industry experts, has identified a strategic friendshoring opportunity to fortify America’s essential medical and pharmaceutical supply chain with allies that are more amicable and strategic such as Israel and its Abraham Accords partners: America's Medical Friendshoring Solution.
“Time is of the essence here,” said Peter Pitts, Former FDA Associate Commissioner and current Senior Fellow at USIEA. “Many government leaders have struggled with how to resolve America’s supply chain issues. This report language is a significant step, proving that Congress is willing to approach a supply chain solution with creativity, which is the only way we’re going to make progress and prevent another supply chain crisis.”
Over the past several years, USIEA has conducted extensive research and education on friendshoring America’s medical and pharmaceutical supply chains to Israel and the Abraham Accords countries.
“It is clear that there are key opportunities to set up a new staging ground for cost effective manufacturing, and to benefit from some of the world’s cutting edge healthcare innovations and robust biopharmaceutical industries within the region, all while strengthening the path toward lasting Middle East peace,” said Heather Johnston, founder and CEO of USIEA.
The retail and technology industries have already diversified their supply chains, and USIEA is educating Congress on the urgent need to apply the same strategic thinking to safeguard America’s life sciences supply chain from China’s volatility.
USIEA remains committed to educating political and health industry leaders, FDA colleagues, and members of Congress on how establishing an FDA bureau with Israel and the Abraham Accords partners will create a staging ground for collaboration. This is a critical first step to securing a supply chain solution for America’s medical and pharmaceutical needs.
U.S. Israel Education Association (USIEA) advances important dialogue and cooperation between bipartisan senior government leaders in the United States and Israel by filling existing information gaps and enhancing understanding of issues critical to a mutually beneficial partnership. Founded in 2011, USIEA empowers U.S. leaders with innovative initiatives on the path to Middle East peace, connects Members of Congress with direct access to West Bank visits, and educates as thought leaders in the media and through strategic global partnerships. To learn more about USIEA’s work, visit usieducation.org.