Healthcare Ready | The Disaster Supply Chain

How it Works: The Supply Chain in Disasters and Disease Outbreaks

The impact of a disaster or disease outbreak can reach catastrophic levels if patients and providers do not have access to life-saving medicines. Pandemic disease outbreaks, for example, can spike supply needs by 200 to 300% leading to acute strain on the normal supply chain. Partners along the supply chain have remarkable, innovative answers to the threats that disasters pose to supply chain operations. From hurricanes to disease outbreak to terrorism, all threats pose a risk to public health. When a disaster causes facility damage, transportation issues, power outages and related generator fuel shortages, the pharmaceutical supply chain is threatened. Private companies, nonprofits, and the government collaborate in the wake of disasters to protect and stabilize the healthcare supply chain. Their goal is to ensure that healthcare is able to continuously provide patients and providers with the products on which they depend.


Hover over the plus signs to view more information about the Supply Chain during disasters!

Partnerships for Preparedness

Direct Relief International (DRI) and Pfizer forged a partnership to quickly mobilize resources for meningitis outbreaks. When a local outbreak happens, DRI is allowed to begin quickly moving a vaccine owned by Pfizer to the area. Meningitis outbreaks are common in university settings and this partnership has shown to be immensely valuable in protecting students.

Hurricane Sandy Aid – By the Numbers

Businesses pledged over $141 million to Hurricane Sandy response and recovery, including:

$1 million from Pfizer Foundation

$250,000 from Amgen

$100,000 from Bristol-Myers Squibb

$200,000 worth of supplies from Actavis
Hurricane Katrina Response – By the Numbers

Two CVS mobile pharmacies filled 200,000 prescriptions in the Astrodome, 90% within the first 72 hours

Walgreens filled over 300,000 prescriptions for evacuees across the country

Eli Lilly donated 1,600 lbs of medical products

$5 million in free medication donated by AstraZeneca

Pfizer donated medicines and replenished products for free
Partnerships for Preparedness

Direct Relief International (DRI) has a partnership with FedEx to rapidly deliver supplies safe and effectively during emergencies, when transportation can be challenging and supplies must remain at a precise temperature. Multisensor devices monitor delivery location, temperature, humidity and other key data.
Partnerships for Access and Delivery

States, cities, and distributors across the country are working together to proactively address this persistent problem in a variety of ways. Healthcare Ready developed a report on this persistent challenge, Access Denied: Delivery of Critical Healthcare Products and Personnel to Disaster Sites.

Ohio developed its Emergency Partner Credentialing System (EPCS) in collaboration with the private sector after learning of the challenges distributors experienced when delivering healthcare supplies during disasters. The EPCS allows companies to pre-register employees in law enforcement databases before an emergency so that law enforcement immediately recognize them and let them in to restricted areas.

CVS recently implemented a program to send mobile alerts to patients before predicted severe weather events reminding them to refill prescriptions. The program has also been used to share public health information related to the Zika virus.