The biggest supply chain risk right now?

Trump administration officials are asking India to lift restrictions to give the U.S. access to pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce a range of drugs, amid fears of a potential U.S. drug supply shortage prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The two governments are holding discussions aimed at easing newly imposed restrictions on pharmaceutical exports from India, which Delhi introduced to ensure the country would have medicine needed to handle the pandemic inside of its borders, the sources said.

With coronavirus potentially disrupting the global supply chain for medicine, India earlier this month restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including acetaminophen — a common pain reliever. India is the world’s leading supplier of generic drugs and is a key source for active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, used to produce a range of medicines.

We need to get on this one right away, I have heard similar worries from very reliable sources.  Here is one article.


Nothing more than the equivalent of a prohibitive tariff. We know how to negotiate any tariff away. Let's do the same for imports of this stuff: All pharmaceutical export countries may sell as much as they want of ANYTHING duty free in the US of A if they also keep exporting pharma to US of A.

Yep. Very small. I’m a pathetic beta cuck with a stub dick.

We should stop making our necessities in China and India. We should make them inside our own country.

You cucks thought I disappeared many elections ago. I'm still here bitches!

>We need to get on this one right away

I like how you mention that Trump is working on the issue, and you conclude by bravely stating that we need to get working on the issue.

I don't know what the world would do without your sage advice.

Well that would require him to acknowledge the Trump administration actually does stuff. TDS doesn't allow for that.

India announced this ban on March 4. On March 10 Trump said, referring to the coronavirus, “It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

Heckuva job, Trump.

I don't understand the premise of your argument. If a country restricts exports because they want to ensure that their own citizens have adequate amount of the medication(s), then why would that country allow those medications to be exported? If they have, or can manufacture, excess amounts (beyond what their citizens would need, realistically speaking), then sure of course.

Is that what you are proposing?

The premise seems to be that the act of free trade is more important than its utility for either trading party.

Which - if it were not for essential goods - might even be an argument worthy of debate. But to even imply that a country (pick any country - not just India) should simply ignore its own people so that they can pull in some more trade $$ is absurd. And pathetic.

Indeed, this was the thinking in the age of post-nations like America. Borders didn't matter, only the ability of the elite class to move people, capital, and goods across them to the detriment of all but themselves. But don't worry, Corona-chan is leading us into a renaissance of nationalism. Be sure to thank her when you see her.

I am quite grateful for the Corona virus. There are so many evil people like you - well, not quite as evil as you, obviously - that I see Corona as a just reckoning. The collateral damage it will cause to the small minority of people who don't deserve it will be far outweighed by the total damage caused to all the people who do. Even if you're right and you nationalists win with your isolationist agendas, even after the pandemic is over, you and your evil supporters will still lose gains from trade and comparative advantage. Your beloved nation-states will be forever poorer, and for that I am grateful.

But even if all of that were untrue, there would still be a last silver lining, which is that Corona may, with ever so tiny probability, kill you personally in an agonizing way. And that, to me, is worth trillions of dollars in collateral damage for the innocent.

"look not too long into the abyss", Uncle Fester

Y’all MF’ers need Jesus

No one is saying India has to do that.

India would also like some medical equipment that only America can produce. India has far fewer ventilators and medical equipment of all kinds to handle disease. I've been inside an Indian hospital. Its not fun.

No one is saying India should ignore its people. But India produces these kinds of drugs for the world, and frankly its unhelpful to have them when their current testing regime is poor. Their current strategy revolves around handling severe cases, which they need American equipment for. India does not have the manufacturing capacity to produce this equipment, America does.

India blocks regents that the Americans need, America blocks medical equipment India needs ... you don't see how this is extremely unhelpful and causes people to die?

But its not just that ... to produce anything now requires goods to flow in an out of many different countries. It would not be cost effective for America to produce small molecule generic drugs at scale. Coronavirus has disrupted these chains ... disrupting them more is very dangerous.

If you ban exports, you are not going to end up with a surplus. You are limiting the ability of the manufactures to produce supply because now they are losing access to a foreign market.

@Aladin - I agree with your logic. India needs medical equipment from the US and US needs meds (or reagents ec). So total bans of these items (or others like it) do not make sense.

My point was: thinking that one could pay India (or any other country) to part with drugs and equipment that are desperately needed with the country in exchange for cash is not a winning move. The argument that two countries can strike a deal in which both sides come out ahead (in terms of essential goods and services needed to combat the pandemic) is not only sensible but required. (And hopefully what is being negotiated right now between the two countries).

It can, in fact, be a winning move to offer simple cash for life-saving meds, even ones that are needed in the country that has them. The money you offer may be enough to buy stuff that saves more lives than the meds.

You can't make blanket statements about what works and what doesn't. You have to look at specific proposals. And you also need to consider that India doesn't actually own the meds in question. Private companies do. (Property rights obviously get reduced in times of emergency, but they're rarely waived altogether.)

The other consideration for India is the future. If they deny meds to other countries at their time of need, other countries are going to make darned sure they don't rely on India in future. How many extra deaths should their government tolerate to safeguard the existence of a vital industry? I don't know, and I'm really happy that I'll never be in a position to make such a call.

I agree with Scoop's points.

Also, isn't India a net importer of food? I think they are, and I could see this national shutdown and COVID-19 in general disrupting their labor-intensive agricultural system. (There's of course some risk of disruption to the U.S. also, but I suspect that we'll figure it out with our highly-mechanized agricultural production system. It's not the Bloomberg "anyone can be a farmer" nonsense, but really closer to the opposite. If push comes to shove, the people who know how to operate combines can almost certainly step up and also harvest a good portion of a neighbor's crops if needed.)

I wish that the U.S. government wasn't so involved in agriculture in normal economic times, but the fact is that they are. Given that involvement, it's pretty easy for the USDA to figure out a program to buy a bunch of grain and then give it to India (or sell it to India at a greatly reduced price).

I have a tiny penis.

"Starting in the 1990s, U.S. companies have increasingly relied on imports of pharmaceutical products from India and China, because of cheaper manufacturing costs and less stringent regulations."

I'm really starting to wish that tarring and feathering would once again be socially acceptable. There's a bunch of "globalization is great" media and business types I wouldn't mind seeing that happen to...

If you have the tar and feathers, I will provide the rails.

Most nations engage in protection of national security and food industries. It would be sensible to add healthcare industries to this mix.

There will be ossification and excesses under protectionism, on the other hand with globalized economies, we may see globalized viruses more frequently.

The next time a duck farmer in India sneezes, get ready to unload your stock portfolio. And buy toilet paper.

You should unload your stock portfolio because the economy of the developed world is built on enormous sums of debt. Barely a month of missed payments leading to a collapse, food lines, panic buying, and multi-trillions in bailout is proof that we live in a house of cards. You don't need a pandemic to bring down economies living paycheck to paycheck but it's a mighty convenient excuse.

The current crisis wasn't a house of cards coming down. It was everyone scrambling for liquidity in the first hours, as they noticed it would help them a few hours later, for investing on the cheap.

Relax dudes, anonymous is going to use his garage 3D printer to print APIs.

But there’s no supply chain issues, everything is swell. There isn’t one example of a supply chain disruption caused by Corona-chan.

In Montana, a number of people have organized to use available resources to make as many masks as possible to prepare themselves. And they have shared the necessary specifications and files to allow anyone to do the same.

People handling supply chain disruptions is what is required now, as those doctors and dentists in Billings have been doing for more than a week, with the help of universities and libraries. Their designs are being used in NJ right now by faculty and students to print masks, for example.

3D masks still seem like an extreme fall back to me, but my actual position is that global mask production and etc is massively increasing.

People who claim "fragility" in the face of massive increase .. I don't even know.

One reasonably assumes that if the project is led by a doctor, and these designs are already being used to create masks at the epicenter of the American pandemic, it does not seem like an extreme fallback in the least, but a better than nothing response to the same catastrophe that has happened (and is still happening, of course) to other places.

3D-printed personal protection equipment (PPE) will not provide the same protection as FDA-cleared surgical masks and N95 respirators, but if they are used, the FDA has provided information about how to make them as effective as possible.

Note that if you click through from that page to the FDA, they do not mention 3D printing at all, but implicitly group them with "homemade" solutions.

Because of course, the FDA has no idea what people are making and how well it works.

People are putting a bit of weather stripping around a hard plastic face cup, and sticking on filter material torn by hand from a home furnace filter.

Do you just get off on lying?

Nope. The Twittersphere called out their BS. No diagrams for mechanical parts and no bill of materials makes the schematic worthless. Medtronic is doing damage control for their subsidiary Covidien's failure to make a cheap ventilators for the government.

If anyone had actually read the original article, they would know that 1.0 never claimed to be complete:

The company posted online the design documents, service manuals and other information for its Puritan Bennett 560, which is sold in 35 countries. The company plans to post software code and other information shortly.

"Calling BS" that information promised "shortly" is not available immediately is kind of childish.

It's also kind of funny that some of you spend three years misclassifying me as a liberal, and here I'm the only one really standing for the dynamic free market response.

Our globalized industry is incredibly productive, and will respond, just not magically in two weeks.

Isn't this the local knowledge problem?

Not anymore. Start with wiki:
Pharmaceutical manufacturing

Go from there and the web will lead you to US expert article, equipment makers, scientists, and other experienced folks. You will also see an impressive set of trade literature, no doubt, with published articles from around the world. If you hurry, you can get venture capital, even a grant from Tyler himself.

In just one week, we have moved from me too to not me.

I do what I do


A vicious personal attack on President Trump!

He is a "stable genius" who knows more than every economist ever.

He knows America First is the only good policy for the US, and all good leaders in the world must adopt his model if they can lead real nations, so Putin must say Russia First, EC President Ursula von der Leyen must say EU First.

To say trade must be free with the global market deciding is being ann Obama stooge and a absolute insult ad hominem attack on Presidentt Trump, who is always perfect in every word and deed.

Another "obvious" patent struck down in courts today. Good day for those who need heart medicine and generic pharma manufacturers everywhere including India.

Or not. You do realize the US consumer subsidizes R&D for the entire world, including India? The L. ascaris (giant roundworm, common in India and the Philippines) antihelmintic pill that grade school kids take once a year costs $1 equivalent in PH/IND but $800 in the USA (I know, since I had to swallow this bitter pill in the States, it gives you a headache but works).

You're welcome Sanjay, since I paid for your patented meds. Next time do me a favor, since it's hard for Filipinos to enter India without all kinds of special paperwork from the Licensing Raj; can you please cut down on some of that red tape (worm!!)?

Deworming the World

US does indeed subsidize R&D for rest of the world. The price differential that you speak of should really be rectified for the sake of the US Consumer (all of us). I have never understood why the rest of the world is allowed to benefit so freely off US R&D investments.

THAT SAID, your comments were uncalled for. This forum (which otherwise is fabulous) degrades with such comments about Filipinos entering India, Licensing Raj etc etc. Those comments have nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

May I please request all to stick to the core discussion and make it educational / thought provoking for all. Thank you much :).

Why so angry, Ray? If you believe patents are good, then you should support good patents not obvious ones that are clearly bad. This is why the patent system is in need of reform. Too easy for bad actors to get their state-enforced monopoly for shoddy work.

I just had a cardiac arrest.

I predict higher inflation soon. Vietnam cut off rice exports to the Philippines a week ago (which, sadly, is a net importer of rice despite being in a freaking tropical rainforest about 10 months out of the year; they also suck at producing coconuts since they don't plant enough trees, incredible; and they'd probably have a banana shortage except for the fact these plants happily grow like weeds, we have some in our farm that we chop down because they get in the way)

Here in Greece, my friends and I are holding onto our lambs and goats (which are exsanguinated with a straightedge, not Filipino style pouring vinegar down their throats to asphyxiate them, for you long-time readers of my posts; I don't know which is more humane actually since they both seem to work at about the same speed) because we fear due to the total lockdown, which has been extended another two weeks and the rumor is it will last until the end of April, that food might become scarce and prices might go up.

Is inflation making a comeback? If money is neutral it should not matter, but, remember the poor performance of stocks in the 1970s.

Of course there'll be inflation. Two trillion dollars more enpixelated guarantees that. But it also allows the country's biggest banks to avoid the implosion of the fracking boom where all the leading companies in that field are unable to pay off their loans. This has been a big worry for the Fed since 2015. Mnuchin and the others think they have the answer.

I mean, inflation is not a very useful concept when your ability to buy goods is incredibly limited.

What exactly are you going to spend money on? If you are physically barred from spending money, then the value of that money doesn't mean much.

Aside from food, basic home supplies, government forced landowners to waive rent so that's not so much of an issue ... well you cant do much.

To determine the value of the dollar you need an active market. The current market has almost no liquidity, which can lead to inflation or deflation.

Typically, economic crisis leads to deflation, as value is destroyed the price of everything starts to fall. But this is not a true economic crisis, so its difficult to tell.

I miss when Ray used to mention his Filipina girlfriend every time he posted.

The new gold.

Why would India disrupt the export of acetaminophen? What does that have to do with existing or potential COVID-19 treatments?

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for example, I could understand, along with any other potentially promising antiviral medication, but acetaminophen doesn't make sense.

Because there is a suspicion that the other OTC painkillers can increase odds of bad outcomes in Corona - so in doubt, use Acetaminophen for mild pain right now. This predictably lead to hoarding, once again.

SARS-CoV-2 is also a new virus, so researchers aren’t certain how long immunity will last. The virus could mutate and render past immunity ineffective, although scientists have found that it is mutating slowly, indicating that the protection from a past infection is likely to be effective for a while.

“You’re going to have some degree of durable immunity,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Doctor Mike YouTube show. “It may not be 50 years, but it’s certainly going to be a matter of a few years.”


Say what!

This pro is almost certain we will have at least seasonal immunity. Based on his knowledge o mutating viruses, this one does not mutate and the anti-bodies will still be valid all season.

Immunity decreases R0, the spread rate, the virus cannot spread beyond the immune. The models showing the effect of spread rate are taking us from phase 1 to phase 2 without considering the 'back pressure' from building immunity. The R0 they use is likely only good for phase one and two; from a few traceable visitors to the local spreading, but it tends to slow thereafter.

The first MR comment pointing out this Indian export ban was on Wednesday. Wednesday, March 4.

Maybe the author's bouncy Oops, there goes another global supply chain, oops, there goes another .... was inappropriately humorous, back when many people in the U.S. still thought covid19 preparation was a matter of political fearmongering.

Karma. You start by proclaiming America First, you end up in negotiations with a mid-level Punjabi bureaucrat shaking his head all the time.

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