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Kodak wins $765M federal loan in push to produce domestic pharmaceuticals

 Kodak wins $765M federal loan in push to produce domestic pharmaceuticals
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Eastman Kodak Co. has received a $765 million government loan to help expedite the domestic production of drugs to treat a variety of medical conditions and loosen the country's reliance on foreign sources, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced Tuesday

The loan, which is the first of its kind under the Defense Production Act (DPA), will be used to produce ingredients for generic drugs.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, those drugs include the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE has continued to tout as a potential coronavirus treatment. 

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The FDA ruled in June that it would withdraw emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine after several studies found it was ineffective. 

The administration and other lawmakers have expressed concern over U.S. reliance on foreign countries for key materials for drug production.

“If we have learned anything from the global pandemic, it is that Americans are dangerously dependent on foreign supply chains for their essential medicines,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said in a statement. 

Navarro said the partnership was a “big win” for the administration and New York, where Kodak is based. He told the Journal the White House is considering 30 companies for more DPA funding. 

“This is not about China or India or any one country,” Navarro told the Journal in a statement. “It’s about America losing its pharmaceutical supply chains to the sweatshops, pollution havens, and tax havens around the world that cheat America out of its pharmaceutical independence.”

Kodak, the Rochester-based company that invented the digital camera, will have to repay the loan over 25 years, according to the Journal. The company has shifted to creating pharmaceutical ingredients in the past decade, which now accounts for about 40 percent of its production.