U.S. Senator Warren, has introduced legislation titled, “COVID-19 Emergency Manufacturing Act” (Act). The Act gives the federal government the power to manufacture certain goods, including pharmaceuticals needed to address the Covid-19 issue. The Press Release states:
- Establish an Emergency Office of Manufacturing for Public Health to ensure an adequate supply of drugs, devices, biological products, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and other supplies necessary to diagnose, mitigate, and treat COVID-19 and to address shortages in products used to treat non-COVID conditions and illnesses.
- Require the Office to manufacture, or enter into contracts to manufacture, COVID-19 products and other critical drugs and medical devices in shortage. The Office will be required to provide COVID-19 products at no cost to federal, state, local, and tribal health programs and to sell COVID-19 products at cost to international and other commercial entities. The Office will be required to sell the additional products it manufactures at a transparent and reasonable price to domestic and international entities.
- Direct the Office to begin manufacturing, or enter into contracts to manufacture, PPE, diagnostic test materials, COVID-19 treatment drugs within one month of the Act's passage. The Office will prioritize production of items that have most impact on public health and the economy, that address shortages, and that alleviate demographic disparities in COVID-19.
- Direct the Office to begin constructing, or enter into contracts to construct, vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing facilities to ensure the immediate production, at-scale, of COVID-19 vaccines when such vaccines become available.
- Provide transparency into the Office's activities by mandating Inspector General reviews of all of the Office's contracts, requiring periodic reports to Congress, and forcing the Office to publicly post its prices for COVID-19 and other products as well as any licensing agreements.