Procurement of critical medical supplies for the Ebola response was complicated by the fact that partners did not know with sufficient specificity which products were needed. Therefore, an important aspect of preparedness is to identify a list of critical supplies and agree on specifications. The PSCN has developed a list of the top 60 critical product categories aligned with the top 10 diseases of pandemic concern.
Effective pandemic response relies on strong logistics planning and capacities - both upstream and downstream. The PSCN has engaged in a number of efforts to improve both upstream and downstream logistics. Progress includes pre-identification of upstream sea and air routes, assessing options for consolidation hubs, and improving downstream logistics capacities to augment limited national capacities in vulnerable countries.
There is currently no information system that provides end-to-end visibility of supply chains for pandemic preparedness and response. More broadly, all humanitarian supply chains are vulnerable to suboptimal information sharing and coordination. Within the PSCN, a sub-group has formed to work on developing a collaborative information platform to share key information and improve visibility across supply chains and between stakeholders.