March 17, 2020 – The Latino Coalition, the leading advocacy and membership organization for U.S. Hispanic businesses, is on the front lines of promoting economic opportunities for small businesses in the Latino community. During this tenuous time in our nation’s history, amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, our coalition strongly supports innovative new ideas to deliver quality healthcare to underserved populations. However, The Administration’s proposed extension of Buy American provisions to the biopharmaceutical industry, while well intentioned, may result in shortages that could undermine emergency response efforts for COVID-19. This would have a disproportionate impact on Latino patients as we already face roadblocks in accessing quality healthcare and also have a high number of uninsured individuals in our community.
Our coalition supports the Administration’s goal of improving policies to better prepare for future crises, Members of Congress, and political candidates need to be careful in not putting American innovation in danger. Changes made at this critical stage of the public health crisis could subject the most vulnerable patients to drug shortages and delay their access to lifesaving treatments to the coronavirus. On behalf of our members and Latino communities across the United States, we urge the administration and lawmakers to consider other more patient centric alternatives that protect our countries most vulnerable.