Testimony of Allan Coukell before the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, United States House of Representatives

"Chairman Pitts, Ranking Member Pallone and members of the Health Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony about the essential steps Congress must take to protect Americans and ensure the integrity of our drug supply.

Based on research and critical analysis, the Pew Health Group seeks to improve the health and well-being of all Americans by reducing unnecessary risks to the safety of medical and other consumer products and supporting medical innovation. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.

The safety of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply system, a focus for Pew for the past four years, has also been a matter of sustained interest to this Committee. Nevertheless, many Americans would be surprised by the rapid and profound changes in how our prescription drugs are made – and the new risks that brings. Today, 40 percent of all finished pharmaceuticals, and 80 percent of the active ingredients and bulk chemicals in U.S. drugs, are now sourced by industry from foreign countries. Up to half are purchased from plants in India and China. The number of non-U.S. plants we depend on has doubled in just the past decade."

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