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HHS Secretary Becerra Invokes Defense Production Act to Accelerate Delivery of Raw Materials and More Needed to Manufacture Infant Formula

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra today invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) in order to ensure manufacturers obtain raw materials and consumables needed to further accelerate production of infant formula. 

On May 18, President Biden issued a memorandum that delegated Defense Production Act priorities and allocations authorities to the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to infant formula to address the shortage in the United States.

“Ensuring the safe and steady supply of infant formula to American families is an urgent priority for this Administration and critical to our nation’s health security,” said Secretary Becerra. “Today’s action will ensure that we as a nation can prioritize the delivery of essential raw materials and more to formula manufacturers, so that they increase their production of formula and stock shelves for children in need.”

The first priority determination ensures that Abbott Nutrition is able to procure the raw materials like corn syrup and sugar that are needed to continue manufacturing of infant formula at full capacity.

Therefore, to ensure that Abbott Nutrition can procure the necessary raw materials to continue manufacturing infant formula at full capacity, Abbott Nutrition requested Special Priorities Assistance pursuant to the Defense Production Act. As a result, Abbott will be authorized to obtain priority fulfillment of select purchase orders over the next three months. HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will monitor how such authorizations are impacting the supply chain and assess the need to extend assistance to Abbott beyond 90 days to ensure manufacturing capacity.   

The second determination will ensure that Reckitt, a consumer goods company involved in the manufacture of infant formula, is able to access single-use products like filters that are currently constrained in the supply line. 

To ensure Reckitt can procure the necessary single-use products it will be authorized to obtain priority on having select purchase orders with suppliers fulfilled over the next three months. ASPR will require Reckitt to provide an update on material constraints in approximately 60 days to reassess the need to continue use of providing priorities assistance to Abbott to ensure manufacturing capacity.  

“We are working around-the-clock to do what we can to rapidly increase the safe supply of infant formula – from coordinating the logistics for the incoming international flights to strengthening the supply chain of essential ingredients and materials,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell. “We will continue to evaluate additional Defense Production Act opportunities as needed to help deliver formula to families faster and stabilize the commercial supply chains.” 

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Author: HHS Press Office

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