PARIS, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Over the next three years, France aims to move the production of paracetamol-based drugs back to home soil to reduce its reliance on imports and to bolster its capacity to manage an eventual health crisis, the government announced on Thursday.
In a joint statement, Health Minister Olivier Veran and Minister of State, attached to the minister of economy and finance, Agnes Pannier-Runacher said that in collaboration with pharmaceutical groups Seqens, Upsa and Sanofi, "France will be able to produce, package and distribute paracetamol within three years."
The strategic committee for health industries and technologies (CSF) would develop an action plan to identify industrial projects that may be subject to relocation while taking into account social, economic and environmental factors to address specific vulnerabilities of certain products necessary for the fight against COVID-19 and ensure the resilience of the healthcare industry, they said.
The relocation of the production of paracetamol-based drugs, which are used to alleviate aches and fevers in case of coronavirus infection, would be the first step in France's path to reconquer industrial and healthcare sovereignty, they said.
This initiative came after President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday announced an investment of 200 million euros (224.54 million U.S. dollars) to improve research and manufacturing of medicines at French sites and to boost the country's capacity to cope with sanitary crises.
Some 120 million euros would be allocated to projects that "will allow to rapidly increase the production of a drug to treat coronavirus patients." An additional 78-million-euro investment would finance already selected schemes dealing with therapeutic strategies (vaccine, antiviral) and technological approaches, the statement added.
"We will not win the economic, social and health battle if we do not win the industrial one," said Pannier-Runacher. (1 euro = 1.12 U.S. dollar) Enditem