Thought Leaders Recommendations For A Strong Pandemic Infrastructure

HIDA Government Affairs Update

Matthew J. Rowan

Matthew J. Rowan
President and CEO, Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA)

Published in Repertoire Magazine

September 1, 2021

The Health Industry Distributors Association has released three strategic recommendations for improving U.S. readiness and response to future pandemics.

Last summer, HIDA hosted a meeting of board members from HIDA and the HIDA Educational Foundation to share insights cultivated during the COVID-19 response. These Thought Leaders convened to consider policy recommendations to a fundamental question: How can the country improve readiness and response to future pandemics of similar magnitude? Critical topics discussed included surge manufacturing, diversified sourcing, and supply chain readiness.

Consensus quickly emerged to support public-private partnerships. This model enables the government and commercial supply chain to leverage each other’s resources and strengths. The path to creating a more robust and resilient healthcare supply chain lies in strong collaboration between the government and commercial sector. By deepening this partnership, the supply chain will become even more nimble, flexible, and transparent.

HIDA’s Thought Leaders recommendations include:

  1. Build a bigger cushion: Fulfill healthcare providers’ initial demand while giving critical time to ramp up manufacturing production capacity.
    1. Absorb the first wave of pandemic demand
    2. Think beyond conventional stockpiles
    3. Establish a core critical supply list
  2. Establish a national sourcing strategy: Create capacity to quickly ramp up medical supply production.
    1. Increase U.S. manufacturing of critical medical supplies
    2. Enables U.S. surge manufacturing
    3. Prioritize transportation for PPE and other pandemic-fighting supplies
    4. Diversify global sourcing
  3. Ensure supply chain readiness: Understand roles, expectations, and connection points to access products in an emergency.
    1. Develop structured communications protocols
    2. Ensure that providers understand how to access products
    3. Embrace supply chain best practices
    4. Partner with proven, experienced companies

More detailed learnings from the public health emergency can be found in HIDA’s “Building A More Robust Supply Chain: Industry Recommendations For A Strong Public-Private Pandemic Infrastructure,” available at They will be discussed as part of the virtual Streamlining Healthcare Expo & Business Exchange this October and at HIDA’s inaugural Pandemic Supply Chain Summit scheduled for June 2022 in Washington, D.C.

This article also appears in Repertoire Magazine.

Matthew J. Rowan is President and CEO of the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA).

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