As an infectious disease physician, I was heartened to see the Sept. 11 Wednesday Opinion essay “The Chinese security threat to America’s prescription drugs,” by Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) on our medical supplies being a national security issue. We have seen growing shortages of critical supplies, including piperacillin-tazobactam, often a first-line antibiotic in seriously ill patients. China was the sole source of the active ingredient for that antibiotic. With growing antibiotic resistance, having a secure supply of antibiotics becomes even more essential. I recently researched and wrote about life for my mother’s family in the pre-antibiotic era. I was surprised at how much untreatable infections impacted my family. My grandmother and her 5-year-old child died of typhoid fever. My mother and aunt were critically ill. This one untreatable infection ruined the family financially and forever altered the course of their lives. The inability to source essential medicines would rapidly return us to such devastating times. We need to be smarter about where we source and manufacture our drugs and not rely on a single source. Do we really want to go back to deaths from provoking trade wars? We must have bipartisanship to deal with this external threat.

Judy Stone, Cumberland, Md.

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