The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how interconnected our world is. Well-intentioned public policies closing borders to stem the spread of the virus had vast unintended impacts on supply chains. Through focused efforts in capitals around the world, exceptions had to be made to ensure medicines and other essential products could continue reaching patients, wherever they live.
The solution to cross-border reliance on supply of medicines is not to duplicate production in every country around the world; it is to re-commit in the wake of COVID-19 to strengthening international cooperation and commitment to ensure the free flow of medicines. Policy efforts to increase reliance on domestic sources of essential medicines or otherwise expand the domestic production base should not impede the ability of health systems to respond to the ongoing needs of patients.