With One Drug-Supply Issue in Check, Another May Be Looming

While the COVID-19 pandemic led to worrying spikes in demand for certain drugs back in March and April — spurring PBMs to swiftly establish dispensing limits — that particular storm appears to have passed. However, a push to reduce reliance on foreign-produced medicines could be the next cause for concern about the drug supply chain.

HHS on May 19 said it awarded a four-year, $354 million contract to “a team of private industry partners,” led by Virginia-based startup company Phlow Corp., which will work toward expanding pharmaceutical manufacturing in the U.S. “for use in producing medicines needed during the COVID-19 response and future public health emergencies.” The COVID-19 pandemic “has reminded us how health threats or other sources of instability can threaten America’s medical supply chains,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a press release.

© 2024 MMIT
Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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