In the news: The key to protecting the medical supply chain
The momentum for the "Made in the USA" trend in medical manufacturing continues to grow, fueled by the need for resilient supply chains, reduced reliance on foreign suppliers, improved quality control, job creation, and better patient outcomes.
In this month's news roundup, we delve into why domestic manufacturing is crucial for safeguarding the medical supply chain. We also cover the latest from the "Right to Repair" movement. Plus, learn more about new FDA measures to tackle medical device shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the necessity of ensuring that vital medical devices are available during public health emergencies.
The pandemic exposed the vulnerability of the U.S. medical supply chain, with many essential medical products being manufactured overseas. Now, a new proposal called the “Made in America” plan aims to strengthen the domestic production of medical products, including personal protective equipment and pharmaceuticals. This plan would provide incentives for companies to invest in domestic manufacturing, increase stockpiles of essential medical supplies, and prioritize domestic production in times of crisis.
The FDA has announced new measures to address medical device shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency will streamline its review process for new and modified medical devices, prioritize the review of applications related to COVID-19, and collaborate with manufacturers to increase the production of critical medical devices. The FDA will also monitor the supply chain of medical devices and work to prevent shortages. These measures aim to ensure the availability of essential medical devices and prevent future shortages during public health emergencies.
The "Right to Repair" movement is all about giving consumers and third-party repairers access to the tools, manuals, and parts needed to fix electronic devices, including medical equipment. In the US, a bill has been introduced to enforce this right, but opposition from manufacturers and medical device companies still remains. In the meantime, consumers and repairers can support the movement by purchasing from companies that support repairability, and advocating for their right to repair.
The global shortage of helium is impacting the medical devices industry as the gas is used in the production and operation of medical equipment such as MRI machines and ventilators. The shortage has led to price increases and supply chain disruptions, causing delays in the manufacturing and delivery of medical devices. Right now, companies are exploring alternative sources of helium and developing new technologies to reduce its usage. However, the shortage highlights the need for greater investment in helium production and supply chain resilience to ensure the availability of critical medical equipment.