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The U.S. "must absolutely make an effort" to increase domestic drug manufacturing as it combats the coronavirus pandemic, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said on "Sunday Morning Futures."
"This is a long-term solution, but we absolutely must address the issue of redundancy in our manufacturing," Hahn said. "We must absolutely make an effort to have domestic manufacturing as well. … We cannot be dependent upon any single country and we need what's called redundancy in our manufacturing."
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Focusing on redundancy is good for the U.S. supply of prescription drugs, ventilators and masks, Hahn said.
The U.S. has reported more than 312,000 coronavirus cases and 8,503 deaths. Hahn's comments come as many worry about how intertwined the U.S. drug supply chain is with Chinese manufacturing.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
"Right now, we don't have any evidence that there is a drug in short supply because of anyone blocking the active pharmaceutical ingredients coming to us," Hahn said. "But what I can tell you is that we are monitoring that very closely. I can tell the American people that critical medications are available, but there are spot shortages because of increased demand."
In February, health officials reported the first U.S. drug shortage tied to the viral outbreak that is disrupting production in China, but they declined to identify the manufacturer or the product. The FDA blamed the shortage on a key ingredient manufacturing issue and said patients could access alternative treatments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.