Mississippi hospital still faces price-gouging, PPE shortages, supply chain director says

David Sims, director of supply chain and logistics at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Miss., said prices for personal protective equipment remain inflated, and there still are supply shortages, WLOX, a local dual ABC/CBS-affiliated TV station reported March 10.

"Even up until today, we're still paying sometimes five and 10 times the price we were paying pre-COVID," Mr. Sims told WLOX. "I've been doing this for 30-something years, and I’ve never seen it as bad as this year." 

During the height of the pandemic, Mr. Sims said the hospital was "basically completely out of N95 masks."

The normal price it would pay for a mask would be about $1.25, but Mr. Sims said he had vendors offering $7.50 per mask and requiring the hospital to purchase quantities in excess of a million, WLOX reported. 

"Our distributors could not get us the supplies we needed. So eventually we started getting emails from various people saying 'I have a friend of a friend that has PPE supplies that you can buy,' and so when you reach out to these folks saying 'yeah we can get you supplies, but here’s the deal,' it’s almost 25 to 50 times the cost that we normally pay for routine supplies," Mr. Sims told WLOX

He added that "every link of the chain was fractured during this pandemic." 

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