HENRICO, V.A. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger is applauding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) multi-million dollar award to Richmond-area Phlow Corporation, which will work with Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU’s) Medicines for All Institute to prevent domestic shortages of critical medications.
Today, HHS announced a $354 million, four-year contract with Phlow Corp. to accelerate this initiative and strengthen the U.S. domestic pharmaceutical supply chain. In March 2020, Spanberger was part of a bipartisan effort calling on HHS to use its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to consider Phlow’s potential for successful collaboration with the federal government to strengthen U.S. development of essential medications and their ingredients.
“The team at VCU is renowned for being at the cutting edge of some of the world’s most important, lifesaving medical and pharmaceutical engineering research. I am pleased that HHS and BARDA recognize VCU’s leadership at the forefront of securing a domestic supply of essential generic medicines, precursor materials, and active pharmaceutical ingredients in the fight against COVID-19,” said Spanberger. “The COVID-19 outbreak shows how vulnerable foreign sourcing of these essential medicines and ingredients have made our supply chain during public health emergencies. I’m proud of this critical research happening right here in the Commonwealth, and I look forward to working with HHS, VCU, and Phlow to continue strengthening our supply chain’s resilience and our overall national security.”
Earlier today, VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. thanked Spanberger and other federal officials for their strong advocacy in support of this partnership.
Spanberger has long advocated for homegrown steps to prevent domestic shortages of critical medications and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign-based pharmaceuticals — including the adoption of continuous manufacturing practices. Last week, she backed two bipartisan bills to strengthen the capacity and security of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain amid fears of drug shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to VCU, the Medicines for All Institute was founded out of the VCU College of Engineering in 2017 to expand access to safe, effective, and affordable medications.