ARLINGTON, Va. — HDA president and CEO Chester “Chip” Davis, Jr., released the following statement in response to recent commentary related to the COVID-19 vaccination effort:
“HDA and the health care distribution industry are committed to doing whatever is necessary to assist the Biden administration in meeting its goal of administering 100 million vaccines to Americans in the first 100 days.
“Each day, our members connect 1,400 pharmaceutical manufacturers to more than 180,000 healthcare providers, including pharmacies, hospitals, healthcare systems, physicians’ offices and long-term care centers. Healthcare distributors have, to date, been integrally engaged in COVID-19 related response efforts, working with federal, state and local government agencies to distribute medical supplies, PPE, therapeutic treatments and now vaccines in this initial rollout stage.
“While there has been a lot of discussion about vaccination efforts to date, it is important to note that vaccines are reaching points of administration. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distribution of vaccine doses to frontline healthcare providers is outpacing their administration by nearly 50 percent.
“As Dr. Anthony Fauci recently stated, ‘We’re certainly not starting from scratch.’ That said, HDA and our members fully recognize that more can and must be done to ensure both ‘last-mile’ and ‘last-inch’ efforts are met with greater success moving forward.
“The healthcare distribution industry, more than any other sector, is in the unique position of having the logistics expertise, previous experience and ability to quickly mobilize in large-scale public health efforts. These assets can be brought forth immediately by the new administration, particularly as the pharmacy community’s role in vaccine administration begins to increase significantly in the coming days.
“We appreciate the Biden-Harris administration’s laser focus on speeding the delivery of vaccines to every American. As our country looks to solve the greatest healthcare logistics challenge of our time, we simply cannot afford to get this wrong. If the administration is looking for enhanced support in this historic undertaking, the most effective and efficient place for them to focus is within the traditional pharmaceutical supply chain.
“From expertise and experience; public- and private-sector relationships, particularly our strong ties to those providers already active in vaccine administration; and the ability to reach every state and territory through our extensive delivery networks, the healthcare distribution industry consistently delivers medicines safely and reliably every day. If there is a need for additional resources to be brought to bear, HDA members are ready to answer the call.
“While we note the well-intentioned offers of assistance from other entities outside of the traditional healthcare supply chain, it is critical that the federal government as well as state and local governments continue to rely on and expand upon its partnership with HDA healthcare distributors.”