WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 6, 2020) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl made the following statement:
“At a time when our nation’s priority should be to beat COVID-19, President Trump today signed yet another executive order that creates even more barriers to ongoing biopharmaceutical manufacturing and innovation. Companies are working around the clock to research and develop treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19. At the same time, they are working to ensure they have the capacity to manufacture the treatments and vaccines once approved so that every patient that needs them has access to them. These efforts are all hands on deck for the biopharmaceutical industry but each executive order issued by the administration adds another roadblock, making it harder to fight this pandemic.
“The administration is forcing biopharmaceutical companies to shift their critical attention and resources away from COVID-19 work to focus on making substantial changes to their business models necessary to comply with this and other recent executive orders. Increasing U.S. manufacturing of medicines is a laudable goal, but it cannot happen overnight and should not come at the expense of medical innovation or Americans’ access to the medicines they need.
“The recent executive orders also contradict and undermine each other, creating chaos in an industry that is on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19. With today’s ‘Buy American’ executive order, the administration effectively is taking the unprecedented step of mandating manufacturing of medicines in the United States. Yet at the same time, through the ‘most favored nation’ executive order, the administration is creating a huge disincentive to invest in U.S. biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing. Together, the result is less investment in U.S. innovation and the potential for major long-term supply chain disruptions – the opposite of what America needs right now. None of these executive orders will help patients access or afford their medicines.
“The ‘Buy American’ executive order could disrupt the global pharmaceutical supply chain, jeopardizing our ability to respond to the current crisis and potentially leading to major long-term supply chain disruptions, including shortages. Rather than government mandates, we should look for policies that enable more domestic manufacturing without putting the stability of pharmaceutical supply chains at risk.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $900 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $79.6 billion in 2018 alone.