Medtech trade group AdvaMed wants the Biden administration to put the transport of medical supplies at the top of its list to address supply chain problems at ports worldwide.
On his first day in office, Biden issued an executive order that promised, in part, to secure the pandemic supply chain and create a U.S. manufacturing base to fill the strategic national stockpile. The stockpile was found to have expired N95 masks and to be generally unprepared for the onslaught of pleas from frontline workers desperate for personal protective equipment (PPE).
Medtech and other industries answered the call to produce PPE, diagnostic tests, vaccines, needles and syringes but were frustrated by materials shortages and distribution snafus. The more recent backlog of ships unable to unload their cargo at U.S. and other ports has further exacerbated the supply chain problem, according to the medtech trade group.
In a letter to Biden, AdvaMed president & CEO Scott Whitaker pointed out “the increasingly challenging transport situation that has impeded our companies’ ability to deliver healthcare products while also significantly driving up costs.” Whitaker noted ongoing challenges at major U.S. and international ports, including container shortages, limited unloading space and insufficient trucking capacity.
“While we appreciate that multiple industries are affected by these disruptions, we believe the implications for the healthcare system and patient care are imperative as we head into the fall, which brings with it flu season and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 variants in unvaccinated populations,” Whitaker added. “We encourage the Administration to make the transport of medical supplies and equipment a top priority as you and your teams think through solutions to the ongoing transport and logistics crisis.”
The AdvaMed leader also offered to discuss transport issues affecting manufacturers of medical supplies and equipment “to share our unique challenges and recommendations for easing some of these bottlenecks and constraints.