Volume of backorders is 'unprecedented,' says WVU Medicine materials management director

From tracheostomy tubes and syringes to amoxicillin and dozens of other drugs, medical supply chains are hindered by ongoing issues to access raw materials and enough staff, The State Journal reported Dec. 4. 

"I've been doing this [for] about 25 years," Bryan LaBuda, WVU Medicine director of enterprise materials management, told The State Journal. "I would say this is unprecedented. Obviously, there's always back orders and things like this, but in my career I've never seen the volume and the variety of back orders. That's 100 percent due to the pandemic, which turned into labor shortages, as well."

Other hospital supply chain leaders have lamented the labor shortage and higher prices for raw materials, which are more scarce partly because of inflation and partly because of geopolitical frictions. 

Mr. LaBuda told The State Journal one way to counteract the persistent issues are "strategic vendor partnerships that have a focus on domestic manufacturing" — a growing trend called nearshoring and friend-shoring. WVU Medicine is also building its own distribution center to combat future supply chain hiccups.

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