In response to a public request for information (RFI) about the US Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), ISEA and its members urged the SNS to provide a clear, aggregated demand signal to manufactures and distributors of personal protective equipment (PPE), to include a demand plan, supply plan, and reconciliation review.
The US government issued the RFI to solicit inputs on the proposed strategy and structure of the SNS and the role of public-private partnerships in achieving this vision, as well as understand constraints associated with meeting pandemic demand and determine how the US government can contribute to improving supply availability.
ISEA suggested SNS and its industry partners gather and produce a demand forecast based on historical data/sales projection for standard industry PPE demand together with new surge emergency event demand. ISEA asked SNS to separate healthcare demand from industrial demand to assure healthcare workers are protected and economic life can move forward. With accurate demand data, industry planners can address supply-chain challenges. ISEA also urged SNS managers to work with providers to understand the complexity of the various items in the SNS, considering raw materials needed for different equipment.
Other recommendations for a renewed SNS from ISEA and its members include:
- Best-in-class cybersecurity and complete, secure confidentiality of data must be tantamount.
- ISEA asks to be the official SNS interlocutor for the personal protective equipment and safety industry.
- To optimize the use of warehoused finish goods, a first-in/first-out (FIFO) approach will keep stockpiled materials fresh where practical and in sync with industry capacity and annual national consumption.
- To provide the government with more budgetary predictability, it is recommended one-third of the volume be rotated annually during the self-life of the product.
- SNS leadership and managers should develop a robust relationship with downstream end-users.
- A long-term commitment to maintaining SNS in the US will stimulate an equally long-term commitment to invest in US by US manufacturers.
- The government, including Congress, must make certain funding is available to support distributors and manufacturers, who would be making and subsequently holding needed SNS items.