Strategic Planning for Emergency Medical Manufacturing Act Would Help Ensure Medical Manufacturing Continues During Shortages, Decrease Overreliance On Foreign Manufacturers Like China

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), both members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), announced the introduction of their Strategic Planning for Emergency Medical Manufacturing Act. This bipartisan legislation would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and maintain a voluntary list of domestic manufacturers to produce medical supplies during severe shortages, and create a streamlined process for U.S. manufacturers to work with the department to determine production capacity, technical assistance needs, and opportunities for federal contracts.

“As COVID-19 began to spread last year, shortages of critically-needed medical supplies like ventilators, masks, and gowns created a crisis, and the domestic manufacturers who stepped up to produce these items were faced with a wide array of frustrating logistical challenges,” said Senator Rosen. “Our bipartisan legislation would provide proactive federal planning and training support for American companies to help the U.S. overcome future medical supply chain shortages, so that we are less reliant on foreign manufacturers like China and better prepared for the next pandemic.”

“If another pandemic hits the U.S., we cannot depend on China and other countries for the PPE and other resources we need to save lives,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill ensures we have manufacturers here at home we can rely on.”

BACKGROUND: The Strategic Planning for Emergency Medical Manufacturing Act would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to develop and maintain a voluntary list of domestic manufacturers interested in shifting production to critical supplies during times of need. Companies would have a direct point of contact within HHS and a streamlined process to work with HHS to develop plans for what they could produce, capacity, technical assistance needs, and opportunities for federal contracts for purchase of goods produced through this process. State, local, and Tribal governments; medical suppliers; hospitals; and other health care providers would also have access to this network as a back-up system when critical supply shortfalls are anticipated. 

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