Trump signs executive order to boost US drug manufacturing

Trump signs executive order to boost US drug manufacturing

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order directing some federal agencies to prioritise purchasing certain drugs and medical materials when made in the United States.

In the short term, the order is not likely to impact domestic pharma companies mainly because it reportedly exempts drugs that are either not sufficiently and reasonably available in the US.

"We cannot rely on China and other nations across the globe that could one day deny us products", Trump said after touring the plant.

"While Indian pharmaceutical firms that have substantial manufacturing and R&D presence in the U.S. will continue supplying, irrespective of the current order, it would also be hard to move generic manufacturing to the United States due to the cost differential", said an official.

US President Donald Trump's order directing his government to increase procurement of indigenously-manufactured essential medicines, could hurt Indian generic pharmaceutical companies once implemented, though there may not be an immediate impact. "We have to be smart".

Reacting to the order, Indian government sources said, "development of API and critical medicine manufacturing in the US may be a strategic positive for India in terms of National Security considerations and provide non-China sources".

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told reporters earlier in the day that the United States has been losing out to countries such as China and India because of an "unfair competitive advantage due to their lax regulatory environment".

However, trade experts said India should clarify with the United States the impact of this move on its pharma industry once the negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) begin.

Senior White House adviser Peter Navarro said it was critical to act now to prevent future crises and ensure sufficient demand so USA companies could affordably manufacture pharmaceuticals at home, ending their reliance on key ingredients and supplies from China. India sending Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to the United States amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is well known. "It's not very clear on the quantum and specific areas or drugs it could hurt", they stated, adding generic drugs are more affordable than the patented ones, hence may not be impacted much.

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