Faulty Prescription: Why a “Buy American” Approach for Drugs and Medical Products Is the Wrong Solution

June 15, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has exacted a terrible price on human life and livelihoods. But it has also disrupted international supply chains and exposed gaps in America’s capacity to domestically produce and supply both certain medical supplies and equipment and potentially key inputs to drugs, such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In response, some in Congress and the Trump administration have advocated Buy American mandates or preferences for domestically produced pharmaceuticals and medical products. While introducing policies to bolster America’s capacity to innovate and increase the domestic supply of pharmaceuticals and medical products is certainly a laudable and desirable goal, resorting to compulsory Buy American measures both fails to recognize the value that international supply chains have brought to this sector and isn’t the optimal way to achieve such objectives in any case.