How we are responding to COVID-19.

Responding to COVID-19

Throughout the evolving COVID-19 “coronavirus” pandemic, distributors are leveraging strong relationships at both ends of the supply chain to support healthcare providers on the frontline as well as manufacturing partners who are working to find critical treatments and produce critical product.


Responding to COVID-19

Supporting the Nation’s Largest-Ever Vaccination Campaign

The healthcare distribution industry is committed to doing whatever is necessary to support the nation’s response as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign ramps up across the country.

As the centralized distributor of COVID-19 vaccines through the federal government, HDA member McKesson began picking, packing and shipping the Moderna vaccine, along with ancillary vaccine supply kits, in late December. The company will support the distribution of other vaccine candidates once they are approved. Other HDA members are engaging in the national effort. For example, Morris & Dickson is employing their logistics expertise to support the delivery of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to communities across the state of Louisiana; and Cardinal Health has been selected by the Ohio Department of Health to support its efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state.

Additionally, HDA distributors, among others, are serving as network administrators in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, enabling them to place orders with the CDC on behalf of their independent, small chain and long-term care pharmacies. As long-standing partners to the pharmacy community, distributors will continue to work alongside and support pharmacy partners with value-added services that in turn allow pharmacists to focus on vaccine administration.

Lessons Learned During the First 90 Days

During the first 90 days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain — with distributors playing a critical role — quickly adapted and adjusted to deliver medicines safely and efficiently to patients, with only minimal disruptions. Distributors leveraged their strong relationships, logistics expertise and prior emergency response experience to anticipate changes in demand, respond to evolving patient needs and mitigate disruptions.

To learn more about the pharmaceutical supply chain’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, download The First 90 Days: US Biopharmaceutical Finished Goods Supply Chain Response to COVID-19.

Going The Extra Mile

Distributors have taken proactive steps to ensure that pharmacies, hospitals, providers and patients have access to critically needed medicines and supplies. As HDA members use their supply networks to respond to evolving customer needs, we are working closely with manufacturers, sourcing organizations, industry partners and government agencies to anticipate changes in demand and mitigate disruptions.

Distributors have spent years building relationships across the supply chain and optimizing systems to efficiently and effectively deliver medicines to where the need to go. HDA and our members are committed to working with the federal government and states to leverage our logistics expertise and relationships more broadly in the national response effort.

Supporting Frontline Healthcare Workers

Supporting healthcare workers who are on the frontlines in the battle against coronavirus is vital to our effort to combat the public health crisis, and that begins with making sure these professionals have the medicines and supplies they need to treat patients.

Distributors are coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to gather real-time data and identify existing hot spots throughout the country where supplies are most needed. Through this collaboration, and by working directly with state officials, distributors are helping ensure that our provider partners continue receiving the products they need, while hot spot areas can be prioritized for larger quantities.

Strengthening Supply Chains

Distributors are built from the ground up to rise to the challenge during public health crises, and managing through disasters and other emergencies is a core part of our business. As the logistics experts of healthcare, distributors work with their supply chain partners  to anticipate and quickly respond to changes in demand. We direct lifesaving medicines to the frontlines, while continuing to meet the daily healthcare needs of all Americans.

For additional HDA materials and pandemic response resources, visit:

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