NEW YORK – Eight organizations with ties to the clinical laboratory industry sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday asking the White House Coronavirus Task Force to address problems with the supply chains for diagnostic and serology testing for SARS-CoV-2.
The organizations, including the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the Association for Molecular Pathology, the College of American Pathologists, and the American Society for Microbiology, requested the names and contact information for individuals in each state responsible for overseeing supply chains for testing supplies and personal protective equipment to facilitate communication between labs and equipment distributors. According to the letter, members of the organizations have been unable to identify or contact the people in charge of directing distribution of federally allocated testing supplies and PPE.
The letter also asked for increased transparency into the process of supply allocation to show supplies are being distributed to areas with the greatest need. It also noted "a need for laboratories to understand in real time, resource availability and reagent and supply quantities for planning purposes," and asked the federal government to improve transparency surrounding available materials and where supplies are being allocated at the state level.
The organizations noted that their members have "experienced significant difficulty acquiring the supplies" for COVID-19 testing, and have at times "even received faulty or unusable equipment, including swabs from the Strategic National Stockpile, which has further impeded our work to combat this pandemic."