Securing Medical Supply Chains in a Post-Pandemic World

Secure medical supply chains are a cornerstone of resilient health systems. Medical supply chains are complex and internationalised, often involving many suppliers. The COVID-19 pandemic, which combined an unprecedented surge in demand with interruptions in supply and trade, exacerbated pre-existing, rising shortages of essential medicines, such as antibiotics and anaesthetics, and generated shortages of medical devices, such as face masks and respirators. This report offers insights into the risks and vulnerabilities of the supply chains of medicines and medical devices. Policy options to anticipate and mitigate risks of shortages of medicines and medical devices, both routinely and in the context of severe crises, are analysed. Most importantly, the report shows that strengthening the long-term resilience of medical supply chains requires collaborative approaches that balance measures best undertaken by the private sector with those more appropriately managed by governments or supranationally.

Published on February 23, 2024

In series:OECD Health Policy Studiesview more titles


Executive summary
Vulnerabilities of medical supply chains
Policies for enhancing supply chain security routinely
Developing additional crisis capabilities
Landscape analysis
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