Consider the lowly horseshoe crab. East Coast beach walkers can see these creatures, early in the morning, sometimes stranded upside down in the sand. It isn’t a crab, but more closely related to the spider family. Not well known is that the blood from horseshoe crabs play a critical role in ensuring the safety of vaccines and other drugs. The crab’s milky-blue blood provides a substance that can detect a deadly containment called endotoxin that can contaminate vaccines and other drugs during manufacturing. Fortunately, we have a sufficient natural supply of horseshoe crabs to supply the country’s immediate needs, even with a surge of a COVID19 vaccine production.  But what about other drugs and medical supplies? If drug manufacturing isn’t taking place in the US, how do we know our medical supply lines won’t be disrupted when the next pandemic arrives?

Earlier this month AURP hosted a webinar on reshoring bio and pharma manufacturing to ensure health for our citizens. The COVID-19 Pandemic vividly demonstrates the need for rethinking ways to manufacture biological materials and create sustainable medical product supply lines.