France's Emmanuel Macron seeks to relocate domestic production of key drugs to avoid shortages

In a move to overcome drug shortages in the future, French President Emmanuel Macron is looking to relocate more production of key products and pharmaceutical ingredients.

During a tour of pharma labs in southeast France on Tuesday, Macron said the government has listed 450 molecules that are key to securing pharmaceutical supply chains in the country, Reuters reports. For about 50 of them, manufacturers will either start producing supplies or ramp up production in the coming weeks, Macron said.

“Beyond drugs, this finding of excessive dependence is true, after 40 years of deindustrialization, for too many of our sectors.” Macron said in a statement posted on Twitter. “The only solution, for us, is therefore to locate our strategic sectors in France.”

Additionally, Macron said GSK plans to invest $24 million to upgrade its production site Mayenne that currently produces amoxicillin antibiotics. In addition to the Mayenne facility, the U.K.-based drugmaker operates an inhaler plant in Evreux and a vaccine facility in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux.

Beyond the GSK investment, Macron didn't share other details about France's drug production initiative.

Supply chain onshoring has become somewhat of a rallying cry for many countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruptive impact on supplies.

In mid-2020 as the pandemic began to grip the world, U.S. legislators drafted a plan to "onshore" drug manufacturing at the expense of major producers abroad. However, there was skepticism from some in the pharmaceutical industry, who argued that production in the U.S. would likely cost far more compared with the cheaper wages and lower costs that can be found abroad.