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Virtual Summit Discusses COVID-19’s Impact on Global Pharmaceutical Supply Chain, Opportunities to Innovate

August 05, 2020

The COVD-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of health care in the United States, and the supply chain for medical equipment and resources remains a key factor in the security of our nation and health care system. Last week, the American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the United States Pharmacopeia held a virtual summit to discuss the state of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain and what health care leaders can expect during the coming months.

The “Safe, Effective, and Accessible High-Quality Medicines as a Matter of National Security” summit was held July 27–31. Daily sessions convened attendees from health care, supply chain management, and public sector organizations to explore topics including:

  • Leveraging new systems like 3-D printing to aid in pharmaceutical production
  • The role of public-private partnerships in improving technologies
  • Diversifying the global supply chain
  • Building a list of key drugs to domestically produce

The broken global supply chain has resulted in unprecedented demand for equipment, and hospitals continue to consistently report paying exorbitant prices, significant delays in the delivery of supplies, and partial fulfilment of orders.

Since April, hospitals have been responsible for their own supply sourcing and have relied on mutual aid to meet critical needs—sharing with peer hospitals and health care coalition partners. Much of the state’s scare stockpile has been prioritized for long-term care providers and other stakeholders.

Through all this, the safety of health care workers and patients remains the top priority for Pennsylvania’s hospitals as they care for all patients. While the supply chain has improved slightly and there has been significant energy to build up alternative supply channels, hospitals and health systems continue to take great efforts to secure additional equipment to address current needs and prepare for a potential second COVID-19 wave. This includes creative partnerships with the life sciences, business, and manufacturing community, and leveraging technology to decontaminate N95 masks and supplies.

For more information, contact Joe Tibbs, president, HAPevolve.