The US wants to use Covid-19 to insource drug manufacturing

FROM OUR OBSESSION

Global Economic Disruptions

Globalization, automation, and inequality.

At the beginning of July, the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) gave $354 million to a drug company to fight the pandemic. Its other big investments, which by now have topped a few billion, have gone to established American companies like Corning for glass vials and Pfizer for future vaccines.

But this grant was different. It went to a Richmond, Virginia-based public benefit company that was just seven months old. Before the pandemic, it hadn’t manufactured any drugs, although its founders were pharmaceutical veterans.

The company, named Phlow, isn’t tasked with making new drugs against Covid-19. Instead, its goal is to shore up the US supply of generic drugs.

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