Public Health Supply Chain and Industrial Base
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly tested the U.S. public health supply chain and industrial base. At the beginning of the COVID-19 response, shortages of PPE and DME and an absence of testing and diagnostics hampered efforts to combat and contain the spread of the virus. These challenges highlighted pre-existing issues in the public health supply chain and industrial base, such as the lack of on- 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.
Despite the challenges encountered since early 2020, the United States has made great progress to shore up the public health supply chain and to address concerns regarding domestic manufacturing and supply chain surge capabilities. The U.S. Government has invested in efforts to fortify the domestic supply chain, rebuild the SNS, and expand and strengthen the PHIB. The increase in COVID-19 test production from 40 million per month in June 2020 to over 400 million per month in December 2021 is just one example of the success of these investments. The U.S. Government increased visibility and insight into the public health supply chain. Through collaboration and coordination with federal, SLTT, and private sector partners, the U.S. Government will continue to expand its visibility and awareness of potential public health supply chain challenges.
This report is a snapshot of where the public health supply chain stands as of February 2022. It complements earlier reports including the
National Strategy, the
100-Day Report, and the
American Pandemic Preparedness: Transforming Our Capabilities Report. These documents outline the U.S. Government’s efforts and commitment to ensuring that the United States has the critical resources it needs to protect the American people.
These reports are only meant to be a foundation for building public health supply chain’s resiliency. The U.S. Government continues to work in this area. The White House is leading federal efforts to identify strategies to address supply chain vulnerabilities, including those described in the National Strategy. As part of that, ASPR is leading the development of an annual report, which will provide annual updates on the challenges, developments, and opportunities for the public health supply chain. In addition, as directed by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, a progress report will be submitted by the President to Congress annually through 2025, providing updates and evaluations of the strategy on securing supply chains for medical materials.xxviii In a similar vein, a White House-led effort to establish Biodefense Goals will complement the work underway to address the
National Strategy actions.
The actions outlined in this report will better ensure U.S. preparedness for the next public health emergency. Whether the public health supply chain is disrupted by another global pandemic, a weather event, or economic disruption, strengthening how the United States anticipates and manages challenges will make the Nation more resilient and better prepared for future public health emergencies.