Preparedness and Response

Maintaining Access to Lifesaving Medicines

Pharmaceutical distributors are crucial for ensuring access to lifesaving supplies during emergencies. Distributors prepare for disasters and disease outbreaks, knowing that their ability to maintain operations is critical for response and recovery. By collaborating with partners, distributors focus on continuing operations, using the industry’s logistics expertise to support communities in need. HDA advocates for increased public-private collaboration in decision-making, healthcare workforce investment, and emergency preparedness.

Distribution during emergencies

Distributors Are Vital Partners During Emergencies

During an emergency, distributors are uniquely positioned to support relief efforts, all while continuing the routine delivery of critical medical products. Their logistics expertise, geographic dispersion, extensive networks and data analytics capabilities allow these organizations to serve as valuable government partners, forecast resource allocation, respond to evolving situations and needs as well as triage the crisis impact to determine optimal response plans.  

Logistics Expertise To Support Public Health Crises

Pharmaceutical distributors provide lifesaving support to combat emerging public health challenges, like the COVID-19 pandemic, all while fulfilling the daily healthcare needs of Americans. 

With the federal government and healthcare supply chain engaged in one of the largest public immunization efforts in recent memory, HDA distributor members have worked tirelessly to navigate the demands of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Our members are delivering vaccines to pharmacy and provider partners so they can put shots in arms, and amplifying efforts that address vaccine hesitancy and encourage immunizations. Through their logistics expertise, HDA members are finding the most efficient ways to reliably deliver COVID-19 therapeutics, antivirals and boosters, as directed by the federal government. 

Distributor Insights Should Inform Decision-Making 

HDA supports greater inclusion of healthcare distributors in conversations that guide health supply chain policy and increased execution of public-private aggregated data sharing agreements during emergencies.  

HDA and our members also support partnerships and initiatives to build resilience plans. HDA members have previously supported efforts to store, manage and distribute essential medical products, specifically the Strategic National Stockpile. HDA is in favor of a broader shift to an expanded vendor-managed inventory model for stockpiling to better prepare for supply chain shocks while also strengthening the resilience of vendors across the country. 


Private and Public

Government Should Rely on Private-Sector Health Partners and Infrastructure 

HDA encourages the U.S. government to use private-sector networks and healthcare infrastructure during public health emergencies to relieve public sector stress and bolster response capacity, especially in under-resourced areas.  

The U.S. government should also evaluate successful public-private partnerships set in place before and during COVID-19, such as The Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise and the Supply Chain Control Tower to plan future mechanisms. 

Supporting the Supply Chain Workforce Is Paramount 

HDA believes it is essential to support and protect the healthcare workforce. It is equally important to promote policies that maintain the supply, production and delivery of medical necessities. The private and public sectors must continue to use or consult distribution strategies that maximize employee safety while also ensuring the continuation of critical business and supply chain functions. Additionally, building coordination points within different actors in the supply chain to better support, understand and address their respective concerns could help to maintain operations and proper communication. 

Covid Vaccine Distribution

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Partnership with Healthcare Ready

HDA is a member of Healthcare Ready, a nonprofit organization that leverages relationships with government, nonprofit and healthcare supply chain stakeholders to build and enhance the resilience of communities before, during, and after disasters.

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The resources below address the industry’s approach to supporting access to lifesaving medications during public health emergencies, natural disasters and other crises. 


Our Advocacy Work on Behalf of Members 

HDA reviews key priority issues and advocates on behalf of its pharmaceutical distributor members in areas like standards, public policies and business processes. HDA members have a powerful, unique voice and perspective and an opportunity to help educate lawmakers and inform public policy.

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