On May 25, HDA member company KeySource gave a tour of their distribution center in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio). The visit was scheduled as a part of HDA’s Distribution Center Challenge, which aims to increase the visibility of pharmaceutical distributors to legislators and reinforce the value of the industry in providing safe, reliable and efficient healthcare delivery for all Americans. Several KeySource staff, including Albert Paonessa, CEO, a member of the HDA Board of Directors; Ryan Sevek, CFO; Robert Brown, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs; and Thomas Coleman, Vice President of Fulfillment, conducted the tour with Rep. Chabot.
Demonstrating the Value of Distribution
KeySource expressed their appreciation of the congressman’s time and engagement, which enabled valuable discussions about topics such as the upcoming Drug Supply Chain Security Act deadline and supporting purchasing American-made products, while pointing out some of the manufacturing challenges associated with “Buy American” policies.
Robert Brown said, “Congressman Chabot was attentive and interested in gaining ‘on-the-ground’ perspective about the pharmaceutical distribution industry.” These conversations provide opportunities for HDA members to provide hands-on demonstrations so legislators can better understand facility operations for future regulatory decision-making. The visits also aid in developing relationships that legislators can rely on for guidance regarding healthcare supply chain matters, such as during the COVID-19 response.
“I think most Americans take for granted how much work goes into getting the medicines upon which they rely to their local pharmacy and other healthcare providers,” said Rep. Chabot. “What especially struck me during this visit is the need for continued improvement of the security and integrity of this particular supply chain. Whether it’s opioids, accurate patient information, storage conditions, or collaboration with regulators, there are a lot of areas in which federal, state and local lawmakers can help companies like KeySource improve the processes they use, which will, as a result, lead to better outcomes for patients. Taking steps to help ensure patients get the medicine they need safely and on time needs to be a priority in Congress.”
“For me, there is no greater demonstration of the value of distribution than a facility tour,” shared Albert Paonessa, when reflecting on the tour. “This was the first time our company hosted a tour, and I know that Congressman Chabot came away with incredible perspective on the hard work — and people — behind safe and secure healthcare delivery. At the same time, our team came away with more knowledge of key issues within our district and feel empowered to play an active role in the advocacy process. I cannot speak more highly of participating in the Distribution Center Challenge and encourage other members to get involved in this initiative.”
“In Congress, we often consider legislation that deals not only with pharmaceuticals and healthcare, but also with policies we can implement that will help reestablish the American manufacturing sector. Having a company in my district that’s involved in all three of these critical areas is invaluable,” echoed Rep. Chabot. “At the moment, the supply chain crisis is one of the most significant obstacles to getting our economy back on its feet. As such, to see how KeySource is approaching this problem and helping to establish a stable and functional supply chain provides me with a helpful takeaway I can use in Washington.”
Participate in the Distribution Center Challenge
As the congressional calendar winds down ahead of the midterm elections, legislators, governors and state lawmakers will want to connect directly with their constituents to inform their legislative decisions. Tours provide an excellent opportunity for companies to put a face and name behind their businesses and give a firsthand description of their capabilities. Accordingly, HDA is encouraging its members to participate in the Distribution Center Challenge this summer, and our government affairs team is available to support outreach and scheduling efforts. As Paonessa summed up, “The HDA staff helped us every step of the way — and we are grateful to them for helping us organize the tour.”
HDA has also made available federal and state advocacy toolkits, which provide the resources and best practices for members to become successful advocates on behalf of your company and the distribution industry.
To learn more or schedule a tour, contact Kristen Freitas, Vice President, Federal Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 885-0323.