Small Virginia company nabs huge Federal medicine contract

Daniel Fowler
May 22, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the agreement between the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Phlow, which describes itself as a "public benefit pharmaceutical manufacturing company", on Tuesday.

They announced online via posting that more than 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients are being produced by foreign countries.

"It's unbelievable how many individuals don't realize how vulnerable our active ingredient supply chain has been", Edwards said.

The partnership comes amid concerns from Trump administration officials and lawmakers over supply chains spread around the world for critical products, as numerous pharmaceutical ingredients necessary for medications to help treat COVID-19 are now made internationally, specifically in China and India.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us how health threats or other sources of instability can threaten America's medical supply chains, potentially endangering Americans' health", HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

The drug company, which was incorporated in January, said the contract will help it contribute to a national stockpile of APIs and has already started making those ingredients and finished dosage forms for over a dozen essential medicines to treat hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The raw ingredients will be manufactured at US -based facilities, including one that will be built in Virginia, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the federal contract, Civica Rx will be building its own factory to make more sterile injected drugs at the same site in Virginia where Phlow is to build its factory, Civica Rx CEO Martin VanTrieste said Tuesday.

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Under the contract, Phlow will work with private-sector partners to produce pharmaceutical ingredients used in medicines needed to treat COVID-19 patients, many of which are produced overseas. Additionally, Phlow and its partners have also delivered medicines used for sedation who depend on a ventilator, medicines for pain management, and certain essential antibiotics.

"We have plenty on hand and we can provide more for the national stockpile and our health systems", VanTrieste said in an interview.

In all, that contract could stretch up to $812 million, thanks to a four-year base award of $354 million and an additional $458 million on the line as a potential long-term sustainability option.

All pharmaceutical products will be made in the United States, according to Phlow's website.

The ingredients and drugs will be manufactured in the United States, including a new facility that will be erected in Virginia.

This coordinated effort with the United States Government gives security and manageability to the country's medication flexibly chain, empowering the make an answer for battle the country's interminable issue with conventional medication deficiencies.

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