With the Delta variant surging across the United States, the fight against COVID-19 — and in turn, the most extensive vaccination campaign in our country’s history — is far from over. As the effects of the virus continue to reverberate, the Biden administration recently authorized booster shots, and the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to increase vaccination rates across the U.S.
Earlier this month, HDA published two new resources for supply chain stakeholders to ensure the proper handling of new products moving through the supply chain and removal of products that are recalled or need to be withdrawn.
HDA recently sponsored and participated in the Milken Institute’s 2021 Future of Health Summit. This year’s event, held on June 22–23, brought together industry experts, public health leaders and elected officials for insightful policy discussions on a variety of issues that are shaping healthcare in our country.
HDA President and CEO Chip Davis recently spoke at the 2021 BLC Online about the unique role of the healthcare distribution industry in combating COVID-19, how distributors continue to rise to its challenges and what is still needed to turn the corner on the pandemic, among other association priorities.
A new report estimates that the overall health costs of climate change already exceed $820 billion each year. The healthcare sector alone is responsible for nearly 5 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. According to a December 2020 Health Affairs study, “health damages stemming from U.S. [healthcare] pollution in 2013 [are] on the same order of magnitude as deaths from preventable medical errors.” Unfortunately, many of the most vulnerable communities are impacted by the harmful effects of climate change.
Discussions surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are critically important to the healthcare distribution industry as this work ultimately strengthens the industry’s ability to deliver safe, affordable and efficient healthcare to patients across the nation. Earlier this month, HDA hosted a virtual discussion with four industry leaders who are fostering belonging within their organizations.
Protecting the steady supply of critical, lifesaving medicines to hospitals, pharmacies, providers and patients is a complex process in normal times. During COVID-19, patient demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other products has escalated significantly, adding new and unique challenges for HDA distributor members who are working around the clock to meet the daily healthcare needs of all Americans.
For the past year, I have watched the men and women of the healthcare distribution industry go above and beyond on a daily basis to make sure medicines, vaccines, PPE and other medical supplies reached patients and providers across the country. Their energy, determination and commitment have ensured a resilient supply chain during the most challenging days of the COVID-19 pandemic and a distribution network that has continued to deliver value each and every day.
On March 11, The 19th, an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy, hosted a virtual summit about healthcare equity in the context of the nation’s ongoing fight to defeat COVID-19. The event featured important and unique perspectives from the women directing the Biden-Harris administration’s pandemic response as well as other public health, health policy and healthcare industry leaders.
We have reached another pivotal moment in the fight against COVID-19: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate for emergency use. With demand for vaccines currently outpacing supply, the addition of a third candidate is welcome news for Americans. Most importantly, a one-dose option that only requires refrigeration will provide greater flexibility in delivering vaccines to more individuals, including those in underserved and rural areas, with the ability to scale up production exponentially as we move into the spring and summer months.
On January 27, HDA joined other industry experts, public health leaders and elected officials for an insightful conversation about the manufacturing, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Speakers and panelists from across the healthcare industry shared important perspectives with Steve Clemons, Editor-in-Chief of The Hill, on what can be done to support and strengthen the largest immunization campaign in our nation’s history. Below are a few takeaways from the discussion.
During one of the most ambitious immunization campaigns in our history, HDA President and CEO Chip Davis reinforced the distribution industry’s commitment to “answering the call” when assisting the federal, state and local governments as part of a nationwide vaccination push.
HDA will be carrying forward the early lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic and supporting response efforts in 2021, writes President and CEO Chip Davis in the January 4 issue of Chain Drug Review — particularly as distributors play a role in the largest public vaccination effort in recent memory. Davis provided his perspective on the year ahead, along with other healthcare trade association leaders, as part of the publication’s 2021 “Pharmacy Outlook” feature.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, HDA distributor members have worked tirelessly to navigate the exceptional and unprecedented demands of this public health emergency. From managing unique inventory demands of the first hotspots, to ensuring access to emerging treatment options and testing, HDA members draw upon their extensive supply and distribution networks, logistics expertise and experience navigating public health emergencies. Moreover, distributors are committed to the public- and private-sector partnerships that are critical in combating COVID-19, fueling our recovery and improving pandemic resiliency for the future.
Since the enactment of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act in 2013, members of the pharmaceutical supply chain have undertaken efforts to meet each of the major milestones contained within the statute’s 10-year timeline to further secure the safety of the products being distributed. The industry’s progress to 2023 interoperability was top of mind as supply chain and other stakeholders came together at HDA’s recent Traceability Online Seminar.
On October 27, HDA and The Hill brought together policymakers, leaders in the pharmaceutical industry and public health experts to discuss the supply chain’s response during COVID-19. In conversation with Steve Clemons, Editor-in-Chief of The Hill, speakers provided key insights on ensuring the strength and resilience of the pharmaceutical supply chain during this unprecedented crisis. Below are five takeaways from the dialogue.
The emergence of COVID-19 marked the beginning of a public health crisis the scale of which we have never seen. Amid this unprecedented challenge, the pharmaceutical supply chain — powered by distributors — quickly adapted and adjusted to the global pandemic, protecting the steady supply of critical, lifesaving medicines to hospitals, pharmacies, providers and patients.
The successful development of COVID-19 vaccines will mark a groundbreaking step in our fight against the pandemic. However, the massive demand for approved vaccines and therapies as they come to market will require extensive coordination across the pharmaceutical supply chain and with the public sector.
Industry and service providers continue to work to implement the Drug Supply Chain Security Act’s (DSCSA) serialized saleable return milestone. With the end of FDA-granted enforcement discretion ending on November 27, 2020, and the industry simultaneously responding to COVID-19, it is all hands on deck to reach the compliance finish line.
As the fight against the coronavirus pandemic continues, the successful development of effective COVID-19 vaccines will represent a pivotal moment in our country’s efforts to end this public health crisis. However, the discovery of a vaccine is just the first step of many to ensure these critical medicines are widely accessible to providers and their patients.
The COVID-19 public health crisis has highlighted access and affordability challenges for underserved communities. At the same time, spiking unemployment has left millions of patients throughout the country without health insurance previously provided by their employer.
Since 2006, thousands of uninsured and underinsured patients in Cincinnati, Ohio, and neighboring communities have been able to fill their critically needed medications at no charge through the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy. By filling prescriptions with no out-of-pocket cost for patients, the charitable pharmacy is committed to providing care for individuals who need it most.
Maintaining the integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain in this unprecedented time would not be possible without the incredible efforts of distribution industry employees, who are working around-the-clock to move critical medicines and healthcare supplies.
Across the country, frontline healthcare workers are leading COVID-19 response efforts. HDA member McKesson is taking care of its employees so they can continue to support these medical professionals every step of the way in their efforts to treat patients, maintain vital healthcare operations and support emergency responders.