U.S. Department of Health & Human Services sets out plans to make medical device, diagnostics supply chains pandemic-proof
The first phase of the coronavirus pandemic was marked by shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), durable medical equipment (DME), as well as limited access to COVID-19 diagnostics. Those supply problems hindered the effort to control the spread of the virus. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) wants to ensure the U.S. is better prepared for the next pandemic. “These challenges highlighted pre-existing issues in the public health supply chain and industrial base, such as the lack of onshore or near-shore manufacturing and sourcing for raw materials and finished medical products. Unless the U.S. Government takes action to create a more resilient public health supply chain, we may experience similar disruptions during a future public health emergency,” the department wrote in one report published last February.
HHS’ report lists its current and planned supply chain initiatives in areas including Protecting Healthcare Personnel (PPE), Durable Medical Equipment (DME), and testing. To improve the availability of PPE and DME, the department is incentivizing domestic raw materials production of nitrile butadiene rubber, and other key chemicals for gloves, gowns, and surgical masks. The goal is to onshore or near-shore production capacities. Specific aspects of the strategy include investment in “artificial intelligence, robotics, and automated assembly practices and technologies (e.g., shelf-life extension) for existing manufacturers.” Targets of the investment include “extruders for increasing production of man-made fibers and computer numerical control/robotic automation assets for sewing and finishing gowns and advanced humanlike head forms to expedite respirator development timelines.”
“We continue to believe a strict requirement that drugs be made in the U.S. is unlikely. Instead, a far more limited list of drugs — largely generics, as well as more easily manufactured PPE like masks and ventilators — could be given priority over those made in foreign countries for purchase by the Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense as well as for the Strategic National Stockpile,” the analysts wrote.
Source: MedTech Dive Date: February 28th, 2022
Effects on Costa Rican exports
In 2021, medical devices were in terms of value, the main Costa Rican product exported with more than $5,100 million USD and 35% of the total share. Almost 70% was exported to the United States. According to the Investment Promotion Agency of Costa Rica (CINDE), more than 70 Medtech multinationals have established their operations in Costa Rica. Also, the country is home to 13 of the top 20 OEMs, and 16 top technology leaders in life sciences related sectors: medical devices, pharma, and biotech.
A recent study carried out by PROCOMER mentioned that in 2021 an estimated 22% of IT Costa Rican companies (from a total of 450) were linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, in services that include cloud computing (20%), industry 4.0 integration (19%), IoT (13%), robotic process automation (10%), big data, among others. It is remarkable that 39% of them are now selling to companies in the medical devices sector. The study shows that the dynamism in this type of sector, as well as the generation of solutions in MedTech, are signs of the sector’s ability to adapt and explore the new value-added opportunities derived from the post-pandemic market. If you are interested in learning more about Costa Rica’s export industry products offer, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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