On Thursday, President Donald Trump, who hopes COVID-19 vaccine could be available this year, signed an Executive order to boost the US production of medicines and medical equipment and lower boost drug prices. The order directs some federal agencies to give priority to certain drugs and restorative materials when made in the United States. Trump also said that this order would support the advanced manufacturing process, which benefits US pharmaceutical companies.
“As we’ve seen in this pandemic, the United States must produce essential equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals for ourselves. We cannot rely on China and other nations across the globe that could one day deny us products in a time of need,” …. “We have to be smart,” Trump said.
Trump Invoked the Defence Production Act
At the beginning of April, Trump invoked the Defence Production Act to force American companies to produce medical supplies and equipment. It came after the US’s initial confusion in obtaining medical supplies and equipment at the beginning of the pandemic. This new executive order to boost the US production of medical supplies will mark a significant shift in how the United States sources its medical supplies and drugs from here onwards.
The executive order will require that the US government agencies purchase all the essential medicines that we need from American sources,” Trump said during a speech at Whirlpool washing Machine factory in Clyde, Ohio. “The executive order will also sweep away unnecessary regulatory barriers to domestic pharmaceutical production and support advanced manufacturing processes that will keep our drug price low and allow American companies to compete on the World’s stage,”
Senior White House Adviser Peter Navarro said that “The Buy America” provisions require the Department of Health and Human Services, the US military and the Veterans Administration to acquire US-made products only to meet particular essential needs. It also directs the US Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize the US drug ingredient manufacturers during their regulatory review process.