Coronavirus Is Revealing Gaping Holes in America’s Drug Supply Chain

It's possible that medicines, like Tylenol and antibiotics, could soon run out. ​
April 23, 2020, 9:26pm

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America might be starting to catch its breath on round one of the coronavirus pandemic, but medical experts say the next crisis is just around the corner: drug shortages.

There have already been signs that hospitals are running low on key pharmaceuticals needed to treat the virus: asthma medications, like albuterol, and sedatives, like propofol, which are key for keeping people on ventilators.

But the bigger problem is a global supply chain that rife with bottlenecks and dependent on just a small handful of places to produce almost all of America's generic medications — and even fewer still that make the raw materials that go into those drugs.

With coronavirus slowing down production in places like China and India, it's possible that a much wider range of medicines, like Tylenol and antibiotics, could soon run out.