Public health events—both natural and manmade—occur regularly. It is important the country have consistent and sufficient funding for public health surveillance efforts, training and protection of healthcare workers and patients, vaccine and diagnostic development and invests in the healthcare supply chain which supports all these initiatives.
Medical products are critical to any emergency or pandemic response. Ensuring the elasticity of the supply chain is essential to a prepared national healthcare system and is stronger through a public and private partnership because all entities with a role in preparedness depend on the same supply chain.
What Members Need to Know
The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) is up for reauthorization in 2018. HIDA Government Affairs is working with congressional champions on language that builds on supply chain lessons from past events to support future public health responses. Medical products are critical to any emergency or pandemic response. Ensuring the elasticity of the supply chain is essential to a prepared national healthcare system and is stronger through a public and private partnership. A national preparedness strategy must include:
- Stable government funding for public health programs
- Transparent communications between public and private partners
- Formal public/private supply chain partnership
Specifically, PAHPRA Reauthorization should direct HHS through the Strategic National Stockpile to create a commercial “cushion” of key products for preparedness through a private/public partnership. Operationalizing a product inventory process to determine need, what the commercial market can support and identify gaps is necessary to ensure continuity. Key aspects should include directions for:
- SNS and other federal agencies along with commercial partners work to understand current market volume, capacity and viable product substitutions/alternatives.
- SNS and other federal agencies understand key manufacturing criteria that impact ability and capacity to quickly “ramp up”. Examples of these criteria include the availability of raw materials, shelf life, manufacturing complexity and capacity, size of product and lead times.
- A robust education and communications plan to ensure all partners as well as healthcare providers from first responders to hospitals understand the response plan, the role of all stakeholders, the types of products needed for various scenarios and how products will be distributed during a response.