IT’S THE SUPPLY CHAIN THAT’S KEEPING PHARMACY SHELVES STOCKED
With New York being at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, state officials, residents, and businesses continue to work through these extremely challenging times, doing their part to ‘flatten the curve.’ At the same time, the healthcare industry continues to fight to keep us all healthy. From the many brave healthcare workers who are striving to sustain the overwhelmed healthcare system, the health plans working overtime to make sure New Yorkers remain covered and providers are paid, to those businesses ensuring that medicines and healthcare products are manufactured and replenished, and those who are aggressively searching for vaccines and treatments – these critical people, business and industries are collectively working for all of us.
From our health care community to our government officials, New York is leading the fight, pulling together both the public and private sectors to address our most critical needs. Governor Cuomo and his colleagues have shown true leadership, empowering the healthcare community and giving our state—and the rest of the country—faith that, together, we will undoubtedly overcome this pandemic. And our caregivers on the frontlines have been unmatched in their response, working around the clock to ensure that patients receive the best care.
There is no question that all of the state’s businesses and government leaders are working in unchartered territory, doing the absolute best that they can to restore the country’s health and safety. But the truth is, our healthcare industry is becoming increasingly strained.
With an urgent need for healthcare products and medications, the entire healthcare supply chain—including manufacturers, wholesale distributors, pharmacies, hospitals, and others—is coordinating to manage our inventory of necessary medicines and supplies to treat patients. Even with the complex challenges we face, the supply chain is adapting and innovating to meet the needs of the entire New York community in every way possible. And for that, we can all be grateful.
Take pharmaceutical manufacturers. Across the world, these companies are not only working on overdrive to produce necessary medications and supplies needed right now, but they’re using their scientific expertise to find coronavirus tests, treatments, and preventative measures. We are proud that many of our members are at the forefront, Pfizer, for instance, has identified a lead drug to treat the coronavirus and believes it could enter clinical trials in a few months; and Johnson & Johnson has selected a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate from constructs it has been working on since January 2020 and expects to initiate human clinical studies of its lead vaccine candidate at the latest by September 2020
America’s pharmaceutical wholesalers are also playing a critical role not only in helping to defeat the coronavirus, but also in keeping our healthcare system running. These logistics companies are coordinating directly with manufacturers from across the world to locate in-demand products as quickly as possible and mitigate disruptions, all while striving to meet preexisting supply chain demands. In the most critically impacted communities, like New York, wholesale distributors are doing all they can to help their supply chain partners best provide for patients and keep essential employees safe.
So now, when most critical, when we are most vulnerable and most at need, the American healthcare community is bustling faster than ever to care for patients, locate products, and keep our supply chain secure and functioning. These essential businesses within the supply chain and on the front lines, are facing the ultimate test, and with the ongoing support of the government and our skilled and devoted healthcare workers, will help us to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic—that is a certainty.
Lev Ginsburg is Senior Director of Government Affairs at The Business Council.