Where are our drugs made? The answer turns out to be really complicated. A bottle of pills with an American label may be distributed by a company based in the US, but those pills are often made and packaged in other parts of the world. And the starting chemicals that make the drug effective, or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, often come from one country—China.
This reliance on China has long been a concern, but the world had largely accepted the trade-off between consolidation risks and cost. Until Covid-19. The pandemic challenges an already vulnerable global pharmaceutical supply chain at a time when medical systems around the world are already facing unprecedented pressure.
Become a member of Quartz, your exclusive guide to the global economy: https://bit.ly/2yNchmE
WATCH OUR EXCLUSIVE SERIES; Because China
Quartz is a digital news outlet dedicated to telling stories at the intersection of the important and the interesting. Visit us at https://qz.com/ to read more.