Editorial: From gloves to drugs, self-sufficiency takes off again in pandemic Virginia | Editorial

In recent weeks, the Commonwealth has made major inroads on two medical fronts. In southwest Virginia, Northam announced Monday that Blue Star NBR and American Glove Innovations plan to create 2,500 jobs over the next three to five years by manufacturing PPE at Progress Park in Wythe County. According to a statement from the governor’s office, the $ 714 million project would produce billions of gloves a year for healthcare, government, retail and hospitality customers.

“We felt there was a very timely opportunity not to depend on the whims of Asia when we have here in America all the skills, abilities and intelligence to be a market leader, self-sufficient. and highly competitive, ”Blue Star-AGI’s co-CEO Marc Jason said in a statement.

This economic development agreement was supported by $ 8.5 million in state infrastructure upgrades at Progress Park. These investments include a $ 3 million expansion of the Fort Chiswell sewage treatment plant, a $ 1.5 million expansion of public sewer infrastructure and $ 4 million for a new reservoir. water, all of which are expected to increase the future potential of creating more manufacturing jobs, the statement added.

Similar lessons from a pandemic are being applied in the pharmaceutical space. Leaders met in late September at the College of Engineering at Commonwealth University of Virginia to discuss new legislation that would institute a national strategic stockpile of key ingredients for generic drugs, while prioritizing manufacturing here at us, of these reservations. Generic drugs make up 90% of all prescriptions filled in the United States, according to a VCU press release, but 87% of active pharmaceutical ingredient facilities for such treatments are housed in other countries.

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Margie D. Carlisle