In September, more than 900 representatives from leading healthcare
distributors, manufacturers, and group purchasing organizations came to
Chicago for this year’s Streamlining Healthcare Conference. In addition
to discussing leading industry issues, several participants joined
representatives from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to discuss
This meeting is part of HIDA’s ongoing work with SNS to strengthen
the healthcare supply chain, and make sure both federal and private
sector leaders have an understanding of each other’s capabilities.
HIDA partners with SNS to strengthen public-private partnerships
The purpose of the meeting was to continue the ongoing dialogue between
the SNS and our industry to discuss various factors relating to public
health emergency response. Topics covered included information-sharing
capabilities, current and future processes and procedures, capacity and
market availability of needed goods, and potential supply chain
vulnerabilities during emergency events.
During this discussion, SNS representatives and HIDA members outlined
strategies for identifying weak points in the healthcare supply chain
and detailed methods for gathering data from the commercial market to
address these concerns. Participants then discussed how these moves
would shape SNS decision-making during future public health crises.
Key next steps in this collaboration include expanding industry
participation in HIDA’s ongoing initiative with SNS. HIDA will reach out
to leaders in other segments of the healthcare industry and will
partner with both SNS and healthcare supply chain leaders to identify
additional product groups (beyond gloves and needles) whose commercial
data can be used to improve decision making during a public health
HIDA members call on Congress to support public-private partnerships
While HIDA members and SNS representatives had positive reports about
their collaboration over the course of the year, federal emergency
planners will not realize the full benefit of what the private sector
has to offer without key legislative changes.
Specifically, HIDA members ask that certain measures be included when
the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPRA) comes up for
reauthorization next year. Distribution leaders ask that PAHPRA
Reauthorization direct resources from the Department of Health and Human
Services through SNS to create a commercial “cushion” of key products
for preparedness through a private-public partnership. Implementing a
product inventory process that determines need, comprehends what the
commercial market can support, and identifies gaps is necessary to
ensure continuity. During HIDA’s Washington Summit this summer,
distribution leaders outlined the following policy principles that can
help the federal government make the most of industry experience:
- Identify key products and understand market capacity to supply these.
- Vet medical products on key criteria and determine the best solution to ensure ample supply during a public health crisis.
- Develop an education and communications strategy to foster public-private collaboration.
- Establish multi-year funding for emergency preparedness.
- Set aside emergency/contingency funding, so Congress does not need to act every time there is a disaster.
- Draw on work during the Ebola crisis, particularly hospital tiering, and permanently integrate this into disaster plans.
- Improve coordination of re-entry with state and local authorities,
so that distributors can carry pharmaceuticals and other goods across
While members communicated these needs during this year’s Washington
Summit, it is still important that lawmakers are aware of them as the
government responds to the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto
Rico, and as Congress makes budget plans. Do not hesitate to reach out
to your elected representatives and share the ways you or your company’s
expertise could help during a public health emergency. Feel free to
contact us at HIDAGovAffairs@HIDA.org if you have any questions or would
like more information.