STAT+: An international treaty is needed to prevent countries from banning exports of medical products, experts urge

A treaty was one of seven recommendations to improve the supply chain. Others include creating a public database for supply chain information, creating additional manufacturing, and studying last-mile management.

Amid increasing concern over shortages of medical products, a new study recommends that the United States consider an international treaty that would prohibit countries from banning exports as one way to bolster the critical — but sometimes unreliable — supply chain.

Specifically, the federal government is being urged to consider a multilateral arrangement among countries that are major exporters of products and components such as pharmaceutical ingredients or glass vials to prevent shortages from developing or worsening. And any treaty should be administered by the World Trade Organization and have the capacity to impose sanctions if needed.

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