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What We’re Watching: March 3, 2020


Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a critical public health issue that we are monitoring from numerous vantage points. This afternoon Premier issued results from a member survey on their supply chain concerns stemming from the spread.

What we’re saying: Fifty-four percent of hospitals that responded to our survey have initiated PPE conservation protocols to stretch the supplies on hand, and Premier continues to focus on protecting our members from any supply disruptions. We are working with our suppliers, distributors, members and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure access to supplies in the event of a surge of demand. We continue to update The Premier Safety Institute’s comprehensive information and resource area and our clinical surveillance tool, TheraDoc, can deploy real-time alerts and set population flags to identify and track patients with suspected or confirmed illness. Premier will be holding a congressional briefing on March 12 focused on actions Congress can take to help front-line caregivers respond to coronavirus and other public health emergencies, which includes addressing issues related to our pharmaceutical supply chain.


While we’re talking about pharmaceutical supply chain, last week, Premier joined 13 other national organizations in calling on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to expeditiously advance S. 2723 – The Mitigating Emergency Drug Shortages (MEDS) Act.

What we’re saying: This week, we’re watching for the introduction of similar House legislation that will:

  • Increase the transparency in the supply chain to help understand where drugs and raw materials are manufactured and requiring manufacturers to implement risk management plans
  • Institute an early warning system allowing upstream visibility to potential shortages
  • Provide the FDA the flexibility to temporarily lengthen expiration dates to ensure supply of vital drugs and medical supplies, such as N95 masks, are available for patient care.

And in case you’re looking for some light bedtime reading, we also released our ProvideGx Annual Report highlighting progress on addressing drug shortages.


  1. Premier Inc. Survey Finds 86 Percent of Health Systems Are Concerned About Personal Protective Equipment Shortages Due to Coronavirus
  2. Healthcare Braces for Shortages of Supplies Due to Coronavirus
  3. Coronavirus Slows Drug Production in China, the World’s Pharmacy
  4. National Organizations Urge Senate Action to Prevent Shortages of Critical Drugs in Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak
  5. There Aren’t Enough Medical Masks to Fight Coronavirus. Here’s Why It’s Not Going to Get Better Anytime Soon
  6. The Coronavirus and the Healthcare Supply Chain: What Hospitals Need to Know About N95 Masks, Drugs and Devices
  7. Shortages, Confusion and Poor Communication Complicate Coronavirus Preparations
  8. Premier Inc. Celebrates a Year of Success in Eliminating Drug Shortages
  9. Premier Inc. Named One of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere® Institute for the 13th Year in a Row
  10. Premier Statement on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing entitled, “Fiscal Year 2021 HHS Budget and Oversight of the Coronavirus Outbreak”

What We’re Watching is a bi-weekly blog focused on the current events Premier is following and their relevance to the work of Premier and its members. Check out our last update!

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