60 Minutes PPE Story Underscores Importance Of Partnering With Established Healthcare Distributors 


Alexandria, VA – The Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) issued the following statement in response to Sunday night’s 60 Minutes story “Inside the Wild World of PPE Sales” about the risks associated with purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) from brokers or other inexperienced companies.

“The 60 Minutes story highlighted the substantial risk of unfilled orders, unreliable delivery and inferior products customers face when purchasing personal protective equipment from brokers or other inexperienced companies without long-standing expertise in PPE distribution,” said HIDA President & CEO Matthew J. Rowan, who outlined these points in a letter to 60 Minutes.

“While brokers like those featured in the story create risk, distributors actually deliver. More than 200 healthcare distributors have delivered 90 billion units of pandemic-related supplies -- including more than 39 billion units of PPE -- during the first three quarters of 2020. 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.

“Established distributors are able to delivery quality PPE on this scale because they have spent years building networks of vetted suppliers, investing in infrastructure and developing the necessary logistics expertise. As the 60 Minutes story made very clear, these kinds of capabilities cannot be created overnight,” Rowan added.

The challenge in getting PPE to the healthcare providers who need it most is a supply issue and not a supply chain issue. The key to improving PPE availability is to collaborate with established healthcare distributors and manufacturers, and leverage their expertise to improve access. The members of HIDA will continue to work closely with government officials and customers to do that.

Healthcare providers rely on distributors and their more than 250,000 employees for their supplies. U.S. medical products distributors serve the nation’s 6,000 hospitals, 44,500 nursing homes and assisted living facilities, 230,000 physician offices, 267,000 laboratories and 12,200 home health agencies.

About HIDA
The Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) represents the country’s medical product distributors – the nation’s essential link between manufacturers and patient caregivers. HIDA members offer critical services increasing the efficiency of U.S. healthcare providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories, home care, and physician practices. For more information, visit HIDA.org.

Press contact: Sharon Cohen, cohen@hida.org.

Media Contact:
Wyeth Ruthven

Wyeth Ruthven
Public Affairs Director