Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science
The Medical Supply Chain: Risks, Issues and Opportunities Learned through Disasters and Pandemics
Dr. Gregory Davenport
Purpose: This article was written with the intent to increase reader awareness of how supply chains work in support of healthcare delivery. Readers can better understand what influences supply chains, the risks, issues, and opportunities within a medical supply chain.
Method: Utilizing the PubMed database multiple searches were performed with the keywords supply chain, medical supplies, resilience, disruption, disaster relief and supply and demand. Articles were filter by date range of 2015-present and full text available. The dominant themes of the articles included pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment (PPE), and disaster supply chains. Fifteen articles were selected for use to support this publication.
Results: Medical supply chains are vulnerable to shortages of many items to include pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment. The system is most vulnerable when they do not diversify their suppliers and distributors. Many issues with the medical supply chain are caused by sole source suppliers and lack of domestic production of medical supplies.
Conclusion: Supply chains are dynamic organizations and without established processes and redundancies, are at risk for creating shortages for the end consumer. Medical supply chains traditionally are composed of a stable supply and demand concept but in the event of global pandemics and geo-political issues can be halted. Review of historical events impacting supply chains can provide a wealth of ideas for insulating and improving the resiliency of medical supply chains
Keywords: Supply Chain, Logistics, Pharmaceuticals, Supply and Demand
Collins A. The Medical Supply Chain: Risks, Issues and Opportunities Learned through Disasters and Pandemics. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2022; 4(3).
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