US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that requires the federal government to purchase some essential medicines from domestic manufacturers.

The move is intended to boost the production of medicines and lower drug prices in the US. The order could also reduce the country’s dependency on international manufacturers.

US health agencies have been urged to potentially limit competition in government procurement of these essential medicines to US manufacturers.

The aim is to maximise domestic production capabilities of essential drugs, medical countermeasures and their critical inputs.

Furthermore, the executive order directs agencies to prioritise permissions and approvals for domestic manufacturers to support the manufacturing of advanced pharmaceutical ingredients and essential drugs in the country.

Domestic supply chains could ensure public health industrial base that could protect US citizens from a public health crisis in the future.

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These domestic supply chains are expected to meet national security requirements for responding to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats, as well as infectious diseases.

In a statement, Trump said: “The US must protect our citizens, critical infrastructure, military forces, and economy against outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases and CBRN threats.

“To achieve this, the US must have a strong Public Health Industrial Base with resilient domestic supply chains for essential medicines, medical countermeasures, and critical inputs deemed necessary for the US.

“These domestic supply chains must be capable of meeting national security requirements for responding to threats arising from CBRN threats and public health emergencies, including emerging infectious diseases such as Covid-19.”

To this end, the Trump Administration is supporting the transformation of Kodak into a pharmaceutical company for producing essential medicines in the US.

Last month, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) signed a letter of interest (LOI) to offer a $765m loan to support Kodak Pharmaceuticals to manufacture critical pharmaceutical components.