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.
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.
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.
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.