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.