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Pres. Biden Leverages DPA to Strengthen Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

A group of people in protective suits.

On Monday, November 27, 2023, the White House released a fact sheet from the Biden administration outlining plans to strengthen domestic supply chains, reduce consumer costs, and secure key supply chain sectors. Amidst the many other supply chains mentioned, the administration announced its plans to bolster the pharmaceutical supply chain and minimize the number of national drug shortages.

One of the significant actions marked by the release of this fact sheet is the first meeting of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience, intended to support long-term, government-wide tools to stabilize supply chains. Alongside multiple other federal organizations, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will participate in the council, representing the healthcare sector.

Beyond the collaboration of government organizations, President Biden announced his plan to expand HHS authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA) through a Presidential Determination. According to the press release, this shift allows the HHS to invest in manufacturing essential medicines domestically. Additionally, the organization will be able to prioritize medical countermeasures and other healthcare supply chain issues critical to national defense.

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In the announcement, the administration revealed that the HHS has already proposed investing $35 million for the domestic production of sterile injectable medications.

Under the new determination issued by President Biden, the HHS will also appoint a Supply Chain Resilience and Shortage Coordinator to monitor changes in the supply chain, promote supply chain resilience, and address shortages.

In addition to the HHS goals, the Department of Defense (DOD) is expected to issue a report on pharmaceutical supply chain resilience and reducing reliance on foreign suppliers.

With these goals and domestic changes, the Biden administration also announced plans to collaborate with global leaders in the pharmaceutical space to exchange information and improve domestic supply chain resilience. The press statement cites historical success, noting that collaborations by the Global Regulatory Working Group — including Australian, Canadian, European, and Japanese regulatory authorities and the World Health Organization — helped the US navigate drug shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the tripledemic.

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.