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Securing medical supply chains and assessing gaps
The U.S.’ dependence on foreign manufacturers for its medical and pharmaceutical supplies has been laid bare in recent weeks, as hospitals struggle to procure enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and life-saving drugs and ventilators from China, India and other key countries experiencing diminished manufacturing capacity.
The CARES Act proposes setting up a task force to evaluate American medical supply chains and develop a plan to address their current and potential vulnerabilities using the following strategies:
“(A) promote supply chain redundancy and contingency planning; (B) encourage domestic manufacturing … (C) improve supply chain information gaps (D) improve planning considerations for medical product supply chain capacity during public health emergencies; and (E) promote the accessibility of such drugs and devices.”
In the meantime, private sector firms such as Ford, GE and others said they will begin producing ventilators, and software company Resilinc announced plans to launch a procurement platform called The Exchange, to enable hospitals to trade supplies and receive them from donors.