The U.S. FDA has granted several emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to address the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of actions designed to lower regulatory hurdles. Despite these developments, the agency is keeping a close eye on issues, such as product claims, and both federal and state agencies are in a position to prosecute for hoarding and price gouging.
The surge of interest in testing for the COVID-19 pathogen has led to some innovative tests and test strategies, including at-home tests. However, the FDA has indicated that it is wary of both at-home testing and specimen collection in other than supervised settings, a policy that is meeting with criticism from some quarters, but not all.
The pressure is rising on the Trump administration to activate the Defense Production Act (DPA) for the COVID-19 outbreak as the Senate yet again reconsiders an economic stimulus package. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) unveiled the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act in an effort to force the White House to mandate the production of needed supplies, a bill that is likely to languish until Congress can move on economic relief legislation.
President Donald Trump has issued an executive order enabling the Defense Production Act, which gives the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services broader leeway to conscript industrial production to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.