Chautauqua Women's Club
Jeff Gallagher

Contemporary Issues Forum

Fixing the Broken Supply Chain of Quality Affordable Medicines in the US and World


Jeff Gallagher, Emeritus Executive Director, Alliance for Building Better Medicine


The way medicines are made and distributed in the US and across the world is not working well. We face chronic shortages of many essential medicines. Massive reliance on production in China and India has created a supply chain that is fragile – as we saw during the pandemic, difficult to monitor for quality, and out of our control. Still, the cost and pricing make medicine and quality health care inaccessible to many, and an ever-spiraling financial and fiscal burden.

Innovators across the US are developing new chemical, engineering, and manufacturing technologies and business models toward a vision of restoring the manufacture of quality affordable pharmaceuticals to the US. This would enable global regions of great need to make their own quality essential medicines, and thus providing patients, health care providers, and consumers medicines of consistently higher quality, breakthrough affordability, and dependable supply. Many of the universities, researchers, companies, and non-profits leading the way form an emerging cluster in central Virginia supported by transformational federal, state, for-profit, and non-profit investment, and new models of collaboration. Our speaker led the birth of this regional collaboration and will share insights on this complex challenge and the people and innovations working toward a real and lasting fix.