Since the emergence of COVID-19, HDA members have used their extensive distribution networks, logistics expertise and experience in rising to the challenge of previous public health crises to respond to the pandemic. From managing unique inventory demands associated with the first hotspots, to ensuring providers have access to new treatments, to the preparation and ultimate distribution of vaccines once they are approved, distributors have closely collaborated with the federal and state governments each step of the way.
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.