August 10, 2020
New Executive Order on Ensuring Essential Medicines Aims to Address US Supply Chain
On August 6, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on combating public health emergencies and strengthening security by ensuring essential medical supplies are made in the United States.
The executive order aims to reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign manufacturers and minimize potential shortages of medical supplies by strengthening domestic medical supply chains and re-shoring production of essential medicines and supplies. The executive order directs federal agencies to identify vulnerabilities in our Nation’s supply chains.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists is pleased this measure aims to address shortages of the critical drugs and supplies needed to care for patients. In fact, ASA has long raised concerns about the nation’s dependency on overseas manufacturing and foreign-made active pharmaceutical ingredients. ASA co-convened four drug shortages summits. In September 2018, ASA hosted a summit focusing on the vulnerability of the U.S. supply chain. This resulted in 19 recommendations to address drug shortages in the regulatory, legislative, and marketplace, which eventually became the basis for ASA influenced legislation— the Mitigating Emergency Drug Shortages (MEDS) Act— which was incorporated into one of the pandemic relief packages, the CARES Act.
Throughout the pandemic, ASA has been working closely with the FDA and DEA on drug shortages. ASA communicated with the DEA about the increased demand of opioids at start of the health crisis, urging them to increase quotas so that manufacturing could ramp-up and less than two weeks later, they took action.
ASA applauds the President for taking steps to prevent further drug shortages. ASA will continue working with Congress and federal agencies on this critical issue impacting patient care.
Report a drug shortage to the ASA-created registry.
Other Executive Orders issued in response to the Public Health Emergency.