Drug short­ages to be ad­dressed at sup­ply chain con­fer­ence

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Adam Ruben­fire

Drug short­ages will be the ma­jor fo­cus of con­cern when ex­ec­u­tives from healthcare sup­pli­ers and group pur­chas­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions gather in Washington, D.C., this week for the 2015 Healthcare Sup­ply Chain Expo.

Cyn­thia Schnedar, di­rec­tor of the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Of­fice of Com­pli­ance, is ex­pected to dis­cuss the FDA’s ef­forts to re­duce the ram­pant drug short­ages that have plagued U.S. providers and phar­ma­cies.

“We take this very se­ri­ously, and our cus­tomers do as well, and we are tak­ing an ac­tive role to mit­i­gate the prob­lem as best as we can, know­ing there are some things we can’t man­age,” said Todd Ebert, for­mer CEO of St. Louis-based GPO Amer­inet, who took over as pres­i­dent and CEO of the HSCA this sum­mer.

Key­note speak­ers for the event in­clude Sen. La­mar Alexan­der (R-Tenn.), chair­man of the Se­nate Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, La­bor and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee, and Bob Schi­ef­fer, for­mer mod­er­a­tor of CBS’ “Face the Na­tion.” The con­fer­ence is hosted by the Healthcare Sup­ply Chain As­so­ci­a­tion, the trade group for healthcare GPOs.

The event at the JW Mar­riott ho­tel in­cludes a num­ber of ses­sions and pan­els led by in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives, as well as a “re­verse tradeshow,” in which sup­pli­ers can meet one-on-one with the ma­jor GPO com­pa­nies.

Ebert’s pre­de­ces­sor, Curtis Rooney, re­signed for un­known rea­sons. Ebert has said that, among other is­sues, HSCA is work­ing with its mem­bers and FDA of­fi­cials to find ways to avoid short­ages for the in­dus­try’s most-needed med­i­ca­tions.


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