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Biden Deploys Defense Act for Critical Medical Production Amid Inflation Surge

Written by : Jayati Dubey

November 28, 2023

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This initiative seeks to encourage investments in "essential medicines" and "medical countermeasures," covering supplies intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat diseases linked to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threats.

President Joe Biden plans to use a Cold War-era measure to boost investment in US medical manufacturing, underscoring their vital role in national defense. As part of a strategy to address supply chain challenges and combat high inflation, he will authorise the Department of Health and Human Services to leverage the Defense Production Act's powers.

This move is part of broader initiatives aimed at strengthening domestic production capabilities for essential medicines and critical medical supplies. It serves to reinforce national security and economic stability.

This initiative aims to facilitate investments in "essential medicines" and "medical countermeasures," encompassing supplies designed to diagnose, prevent, or treat diseases associated with chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threats.

President Biden, a democrat seeking re-election in 2024, is keen on demonstrating proactive measures to address inflation and address broader concerns regarding the state of the US economy. In line with this effort, he is convening the inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience.

Lael Brainard, the head of Biden's National Economic Council, highlighted during a conference call with reporters that while supply chain stress has decreased from the record highs experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, additional work remains to be done.

The utilisation of the Defense Production Act underscores the administration's commitment to bolstering domestic production capacities in critical sectors, aiming to enhance national security and economic resilience.

This strategic move reflects a broader initiative to navigate the challenges posed by supply chain disruptions effectively. The ultimate goal is to foster a more resilient and self-reliant manufacturing ecosystem within the United States.

In another development in US healthcare, the Biden administration last month released an updated cyber toolkit aimed at aiding the healthcare sector in defending against cyberattacks effectively.

This move is in response to the increasing number of cyber-attacks targeting the sector. This toolkit is a collaborative effort between the Health and Human Services Department and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The Biden administration also secured a finalised agreement to safeguard access to preventive care, ensuring health insurers cover essential services without additional costs.

This preventive care mandate encompasses a wide range of services, including early detection of diseases such as cancer, and further ensures access to critical medications, including PrEP, for HIV prevention.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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