Drug shortages will be the major focus of concern when executives from healthcare suppliers and group purchasing organizations gather in Washington, D.C., this week for the 2015 Healthcare Supply Chain Expo.
Cynthia Schnedar, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Compliance, is expected to discuss the FDA's efforts to reduce the rampant drug shortages that have plagued U.S. providers and pharmacies.
“We take this very seriously, and our customers do as well, and we are taking an active role to mitigate the problem as best as we can, knowing there are some things we can't manage,” said Todd Ebert, former CEO of St. Louis-based GPO Amerinet, who took over as president and CEO of the HSCA this summer.
Keynote speakers for the event include Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Bob Schieffer, former moderator of CBS' “Face the Nation.” The conference is hosted by the Healthcare Supply Chain Association, the trade group for healthcare GPOs.
The event at the JW Marriott hotel includes a number of sessions and panels led by industry executives, as well as a “reverse tradeshow,” in which suppliers can meet one-on-one with the major GPO companies.
Ebert's predecessor, Curtis Rooney, resigned for unknown reasons. Ebert has said that, among other issues, HSCA is working with its members and FDA officials to find ways to avoid shortages for the industry's most-needed medications.