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.