Key Public Health Agencies Participate in Supply Chain Continuity Summit

December 2018

HIDA Government Affairs Update

By Linda Rouse O'Neill
Vice President, Government Affairs, HIDA

At this year’s Streamlining Healthcare Expo & Business Exchange in Chicago, HIDA facilitated its first ever Healthcare Supply Chain Continuity Summit between meeting attendees and government representatives. You may recall that we hosted a Readiness Partner Workshop in 2017 to address product continuity issues related to emergency events, drawing upon the expertise of HIDA members and Strategic National Stockpile leaders. This new Summit was created to build off of the progress our industry has made over the past year, while involving more government stakeholders seeking collaboration opportunities.

At the event, representatives from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR/HHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Strategic National Stockpile offered insights into the crucial roles partners can play during public health scenarios. Attendees discussed topics like shortages, disruptions, and the public/private response to emergency events, and conducted roundtable exercises to identify areas where we can strengthen coordination between distribution and federal agencies.

Perhaps the biggest workshop takeaway was that industry leaders must sustain the close relationships we’ve built with these, and other, government agencies. Having proactive and transparent communications between public and private entities can help determine new and more efficient ways to integrate capabilities. While important on its own, the urgency to improve continues to become evident when our country experiences severe events, including the two recent hurricanes in Florence and Michael.

Any organization involved in the production or delivery of lifesaving medical countermeasures should be aware of current and future processes and procedures, information-sharing capabilities, capacity or market availability, and potential vulnerabilities during public health emergencies. HIDA continues to lead the commercial charge on this effort as the collaboration with federal resources is an important one.

These discussions are particularly timely as the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) is up for reauthorization in 2018. This legislation includes numerous public health programs and federal initiatives to improve preparedness, as well as all of HIDA’s advocacy priorities, and has been passed by the House. The Senate is next to act and is expected to pass the law before the end of this year.

You can expect HIDA to bring its key preparedness advocacy messages to Capitol Hill throughout the year, as well as during our annual Washington Summit in the summer. We also anticipate having more to share this upcoming April at our Supply Chain Visibility Conference (April 17-18, Orlando, FL), and I’d be interested to hear what your organization is doing to advance response capabilities.

If you or your teams would like to get more involved in HIDA’s efforts and collaborations with the federal government, please email me at or our team at There is more work to be done around this issue and there’s no lack of opportunities to help our most important public partners. .

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