Supporting Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Resilience
Pharmaceutical distributors play a critical role in ensuring that Americans have access to lifesaving medications, vaccines and other medical supplies during public health emergencies, natural disasters and other crises. To prepare for the unexpected, distributors collaborate with trading partners and governmental authorities to put plans in place for continued operations. HDA members’ logistics expertise and capabilities play a key role in enhancing supply chain resilience, and HDA encourages greater public-private collaboration in joint decision-making, private-sector resource utilization, healthcare workforce investment and emergency preparedness and response.
Distributors Are Vital Partners During EmergenciesDuring 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.
Natural Disasters and Unexpected Emergencies Happen
It has never been more important for the government to have effective partners for relief efforts. HDA members are ready to continue serving as a vital partner to government in times of calm and crisis.
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.
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.
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.
The resources below address the industry’s approach to supporting access to lifesaving medications during public health emergencies, natural disasters and other crises.
- Fact Sheet: How Distributors Are Supporting a Resilient Pharmaceutical Supply Chain During COVID-19
- Fact Sheet: Pharmaceutical Cold Chain Logistics
- Fact Sheet: Pharmaceutical Distributors Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- The First 90 Days: US Biopharmaceutical Finished Goods Supply Chain Response to COVID-19 (Report)
- HDA Comments on FEMA Draft Voluntary Agreement Under the Defense Production Act
- HDA Letter Regarding FEMA COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force
- HDA Letter to Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Team
- HDA Letter to CDC to Support Vaccine Distribution
- HDA Letter to Chairman Alexander on "Preparing for the Next Pandemic" White Paper
- HDA Letter to Congressional Leadership on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Funding for Vaccine Distribution
- HDA Letter to HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
- HDA Letter to Pharmacy Organizations on Inventory Management
- HDA Letter to President-elect Biden
- HDA Letter to Secretary Becerra
- HDA Letter to Senate HELP Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, and House and Senate Leadership
- HDA Letter to White House Requesting Critical Infrastructure Designation for Distributors
- HDA Guiding Principles for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
- HDA Principles for Pandemic and Public Health Emergency Response
- Rx Supply and Payment Chain Coalition: Guiding Principles for Safe and Efficacious COVID-19 Vaccine Development, Distribution, Allocation, and Mass Immunization
- Emergency Preparedness - HDA Member Contact List by Company
- HDA Guiding Principles for Increasing Supply Chain Resilience (Executive Summary)
- HDA Principles for Pandemic and Public Health Emergency Response
- Supply Chain Resilience Assessment: High-Level Summary and Recommendations (Executive Summary)
- The Path Forward: Transitioning From the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- Weathering the Storm (Infographic)
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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