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Trump signs executive order to direct federal agencies to prioritise purchasing drugs made in the US

Published on 07/08/20 at 10:47am
Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order which will direct federal agencies to prioritise buying drugs and drug ingredients that are made in the United States.

The order will also direct the FDA to produce a list of medicines that will be covered by the new requirements. Trump said during a speech in Ohio: “The executive order will require that US government agencies purchase all the essential medicines that we need from American sources.

“The executive order will also sweep away unnecessary regulatory barriers to domestic pharmaceutical production and support advanced manufacturing processes that will keep our drug prices low and allow American companies to compete on the world's stage.”

The regulations it is targeting for removal are largely upheld by the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency.

This is another step in the Trump administration’s campaign of both trying to lower drug prices and bring some of the pharmaceutical industry supply line back home. Earlier this week, the Trump administration approved a $765 million federal loan to Kodak under the Defense Production Act. The terms of the deal are that Kodak are to make essential drug ingredients that are currently in short supply according to the FDA. This will include making the ingredients of the drug hydroxychloroquine.

However, Democratic members of Congress are set to investigate the deal and want to see the exact details into how Kodak obtained such a large amount of support from the government and have requested documents related to Kodak executive stock transactions.

Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, also commented on the recent deal and executive order, and said: “We’re dangerously over-dependent on foreign nations for essential medicines and for medical supplies like masks, gloves and goggles and medical equipment like ventilators.

“A key part of this process will be for the FDA to actually identify the list of essential medicines and countermeasures and critical inputs covered. The World Health Organization by the way, has a list of essential medicines that numbers more than 400, but some of these medicines we don’t really need here."

Conor Kavanagh

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