The Importance Of Public-Private Partnership And Collaboration

HIDA Government Affairs Update

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

March 2021



By the time you read this column, the Biden Administration will have a couple of months in the White House under its belt. During this time, HIDA has been conducting meaningful outreach and building relationships within the new Administration.

There has been a flurry of Executive Orders from the Oval Office, including one invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) as a means to fight COVID-19. The message we’re taking to our federal partners is that the DPA could be a useful tool provided that it is focused on increasing the availability of much-needed medical supplies while allowing the supply chain that is working to continue doing its job.

Here are some of the recommendations that HIDA has made:

  • It’s important that the federal government partner with the existing healthcare supply chain and its experts to share data, crack down on fraudulent product and opportunistic brokers, and remove barriers that are slowing delivery.
  • The federal government should take a thoughtful approach to stockpiling and other purchases that ensures needed supplies get to the front lines and not stuck on the back shelves. This should include collaborating with distributors on how and when to stockpile. Medical supply distributors have the expertise needed to help manage large inventories that could be at risk of expiration, damage, or obsolescence.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented global demand for medical supplies, which existing manufacturing capacity could not meet.
  • Throughout the pandemic, medical products distributors have collaborated with the federal government as trusted partners. Every day, distributors are using their existing infrastructure to reliably deliver essential medical supplies the last mile to get them into the hands of providers.
  • During the first three quarters of 2020, medical products distributors moved more than 90 billion units of pandemic-related supplies – including more than 39 billion units of PPE. That’s a 15% increase over the pandemic supplies delivered by distributors during the same timeframe in 2019 and a 20% increase in the units of PPE delivered in that period.
  • Distributors stand ready, willing, and able to deliver critical supplies to healthcare providers and their patients.