Since issuing an Executive Order emphasizing the Biden administration’s approach to establish and maintain a sustainable public health supply chain, various government agencies have been relying on the Defense Production Act (DPA) to issue rated orders to procure supplies necessary for (among other things) the manufacture and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Many saw the additional reliance on the DPA as a welcome development in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Public sources confirm that vaccine distribution has increased significantly and that the backlog of supply has also increased (see, e.g. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/02/16/968456877/biden-administration-says-it-has-increased-vaccine-supply).
In speaking with numerous clients, however, it is clear that the increased reliance on the DPA to allocate supplies to COVID-19 vaccines is having major impacts on companies’ ability to continue to supply many other critical therapies, vaccines, and prescription drugs. We are working closely with many clients to assess shortages of supplies across a number of industries, communicate with the government about unintended consequences of significant reliance on the DPA to increase COVID-19 vaccines and supplies, and to evaluate commercial impacts in various supply chains.
Companies and government agencies will continue to gather information and make important decisions about allocation of supplies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while also trying to minimize the impact of reallocations away from critical therapies, vaccines, and prescription drugs. If your company’s supply chain or products are impacted by the allocation of supplies under the DPA, we can help manage multiple workstreams to minimize legal risk under government contracts and commercial agreements.
Click here for our COVID-19 vaccines updates.