Chaun Powell, vice president of strategic supplier engagement at Premier, a healthcare company that handles group purchasing for more than 4,000 hospitals, said reputable brokers have fallen prey to scams in which the supplies they supposedly acquired were already spoken for, or didn’t exist.
Powell said a trusted supplier introduced him to a man who claimed he could sell Premier 20,000 ventilators a month made by the medical device company Medtronic. What Powell knew, and the would-be supplier didn’t, is that Medtronic hadn’t been able to fill much smaller orders.
“Frankly, there’s a lot of good people getting caught in the middle of this and [they] don’t even realize it,” Powell said. “We believe there are several hundred different agents all representing similar inventories — if those inventories even exist at all.”