For Immediate Release
September 24, 2020

HIDA To International Trade Commission: Four Keys To A More Robust Supply Chain

U.S. distributors propose solutions for future pandemic preparedness.

Alexandria, VA – At a hearing today before the International Trade Commission, the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) shared its analysis on the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented for the medical supply chain, along with proposals for how the country can better prepare for a future crisis.

During her testimony, Linda Rouse O’Neill, Vice President of Government Affairs for HIDA, outlined four key lessons that the medical supply chain has learned from the pandemic:

  1. Supply chains must be more robust –The U.S. needs a pandemic-oriented infrastructure that combines state and federal government planning with the commercial supply chain to create and maintain larger reserve inventories that can mitigate sizable disruption.
  2. Surge manufacturing must be expanded and supported – The U.S. should develop and maintain production infrastructure that can ramp up quickly to meet surge demand.
  3. Sourcing must be more diversified – The U.S. needs to rebalance its dependence on distant sources and increase the share of sourcing done in the U.S. and closer to home.
  4. Supply chains must be aligned to end users – A comprehensive preparedness system should align end users to specific supply chains to avoid bidding wars for supplies.

Emphasizing one specific unforeseen challenge that has occurred during COVID-19 with the emergence of a parallel marketplace, featuring fly-by-night, opportunistic brokers, O’Neill states, “Due to their inexperience in healthcare supply chains, brokers sourced products of unknown quality, including counterfeit products, from unknown vendors and auctioned these products to the highest bidder.”

O’Neill said this created a pricing frenzy that artificially inflated the cost of the authentic product, which brokers often failed to deliver.

HIDA has proposed a framework for a public-private partnership around a pandemic response infrastructure, which was submitted to the ITC and can be found on HIDA’s website:

Read Framework►

The full text of HIDA’s testimony to the ITC is also available:

Read Full Testimony►

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

Media Contact:

Wyeth Ruthven

Wyeth Ruthven
Director, Congressional & Public Relations