Thursday, May 28, 2020

Made in America: Phlow Corporation in Virginia awarded $354 Million contract to manufacture essential medicines

Alex Azar

Phlow, a U.S.-based, public benefit drug manufacturing corporation, has received federal government funding of¬†$354 million¬†for advanced manufacturing of America’s most essential medicines at risk of shortage, including medicines for the COVID-19 pandemic response.

What we know: This project has been funded with federal funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Dollar amount of contract: The total contract value awarded to Phlow is up to $812 million which includes a four-year base award of $354 million with an additional $458 million included as potential options for long-term sustainability.

The United States was proven vulnerable during the Wuhan virus pandemic: The threat of pandemics like COVID-19 has exposed the United States’ heavy reliance on foreign pharmaceutical supply chains. Over 80 percent of APIs and chemical ingredients used in the U.S. to manufacture generics and over-the-counter drugs are produced abroad, the majority coming from China and India.

Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy said: “Years from now, historians will see this innovative project as a defining moment and inflection point for protecting American families‚ÄĎ‚ÄĒand our country‚ÄĒfrom current and future public health threats. For far too long, we’ve relied on foreign manufacturing and supply chains for our most important medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients while placing America’s health, safety, and national security at grave risk. We are now moving swiftly in Trump time to forge an American solution, one that leads with American ingenuity, American workers, and American factories all dedicated to ending our drug shortages and expanding drug manufacturing infrastructure for a healthy and secure future.”

Eric Edwards, MD, PhD, co-founder, president and CEO, Phlow said: “In the midst of this pandemic, America needs a reliable source of high quality, domestically manufactured, affordable pharmaceuticals and their key ingredients. This advanced manufacturing capability will significantly fortify our nation’s pharmaceutical supply chain for critical medicines, including many required to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19.”

Munch More

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits remained in the millions for an eighth straight week as the economy continued to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

What happened: Initial jobless claims in state programs totaled 2.98 million in the week ended May 9, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

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Italy will give temporary work permits to more than half a million undocumented migrants deemed essential to picking crops and caring for the elderly amid the country’s Wuhan virus¬†lockdown as part of a stimulus package agreed late Wednesday.

What’s happening: For more than two months, stay-at-home orders have prevented seasonal laborers from Eastern Europe traveling to Italy to work in farming. The glut of farmhands has fueled fears of food shortages and led the agriculture industry to rely on an estimated 500,000 illicitly hired, unregistered migrants, largely from North Africa, as spring crops ripen in the fields.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court said Wednesday that Gov. Tony Evers’ administration overstepped its authority when it extended the governor’s stay-at-home order through the end of May.

What happened: The 4-3 ruling marks a defeat for Evers as Republican legislators, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and with the aid of the conservative-controlled high court, continue to chip away at the Democratic governor’s powers.

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Paul Manafort has been released from prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement because of concerns over the Wuhan virus.

When was he released?: Manafort was released from FCI Loretto in central Pennsylvania early Wednesday morning, sources said.

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Los Angeles County‚Äôs stay-at-home orders will ‚Äúwith all certainty‚ÄĚ be extended for the next three months, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said: ‚ÄúOur hope is that by using the data, we‚Äôd be able to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months,‚ÄĚ she said. But without widely available therapeutic testing for the coronavirus or rapid at-home tests that would allow people to test themselves daily, it seems unlikely that restrictions would be completely eased.

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