Global supply chain helped it see ‘minimal disruption’ amid pandemic

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Mylan CEO Heather Bresch told CNBC on Monday that the pharmaceutical company’s global supply chain experienced “minimal disruption” during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“As Covid hit different areas of the world at different points in time, [being] able to navigate and leverage the different aspect of our supply chain, really allowed us to really have minimal disruption,” Bresch said on “Closing Bell.”

Bresch said Mylan has more than 40 facilities across the world, which allows the company to be “near patients that need the treatment.” Supply chain diversification over the last decade has been beneficial to Mylan, Bresch said. 

The global nature of medical supply chains, and whether it could contribute to potential drug shortages, came into focus during the outbreak of Covid-19, which has infected 4.1 million people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data. At least 285,000 people have died. 

Trump administration officials such as White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has for weeks been discussing the need to relocate medical supply chains to the U.S. Additionally, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress have introduced legislation to develop more U.S. manufacturing of drugs. 

Bresch said some countries may have more domestic manufacturing than the U.S., but argued “no country’s capable of … making all the medicines they need for their populations.” She said the current pandemic underscores the need for strategic alliances among countries. 

She added that she believes countries should be taking proactive steps to build up a “strategic supply” of crucial medications, potentially between 100 to 200 products across a variety of uses.  

It is important whether there is a second wave of Covid-19 infections, “or just for whenever the next crisis happens,” she said, stressing that U.S. administrations for years have not done this “basic blocking and tackling to make sure we have products when we need them.”

“But at the end of the day, Mylan’s global platform has really positioned us to be able to continue to fill patients’ needs with these critical medicines .. . during these unprecedented times,” she said. 

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