Congressman Sounds Alarm Over Department of Veterans Affairs Purchasing Drugs From China

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Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.), in his questioning of and conversation with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough during the March 23 House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing, pressed the secretary on an issue which the congressman called an “absolute danger” to the United States.  

Murphy, who is a physician, was referring to the decision that the VA made and the policy it adopted in 2016 to purchase drugs that include active ingredients that come from China, which are then prescribed and given to veterans.  

“I don’t understand this policy,” said Murphy. “And we’re now … allowing drugs to come to our veterans, as well as other drugs coming into this country, that are not being analyzed, that are not being reviewed, are not being inspected.  And this is an absolute troubling thing to me as a physician.”  

Murphy, a member of the Veterans Affairs committee, always has veterans’ issues front and center on his lawmaking and advocacy radar screen. 

The district he represents has among the highest percentage of its residents who are veterans of any congressional district in the nation: one in seven.  

Then there are those in Murphy’s district who are in military active service.  Murphy’s district includes Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, and Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City.  

The exchange between Murphy and McDonough took place at the hearing, which focused on assessing the Biden administration’s proposed budget for the VA for 2024 and 2025.  

The congressman learned from a conversation he had with McDonough prior to the hearing that the secretary was unaware that the VA approved as vendors pharmaceutical companies which use components from China in the manufacture of their products.  

Murphy brought up that he attended that morning a meeting of the GOP Doctors Caucus at which members “talked about drugs in this country from China; 90 percent of our APIs, active pharmaceutical ingredients, come from China today—and our FDA is doing an absolute abysmal job in looking at these drugs; seeing their purity, seeing their impurity.” 

By Ross Muscato

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