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Virus Likely Curtailed China Drug Output, Raising Shortage Fears

  • Supplier of chemicals used for quality checks says demand sank
  • Hospitals are watching supply of drugs for ventilator patients
Photographer: Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg

Drug manufacturers in China may have cut production by almost 40% early this year as the novel coronavirus spread there, according to a U.S.-based group that supplies the basic tools for testing the quality of many medicines.

China is the backbone of the world’s drug supply. Any disruption in the country’s output could result in shortages of medications that will be in high demand as the U.S. grapples with Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.