In an open letter to Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Don Wright, MD, AdvaMed—a trade group representing more than 300 medical technology manufacturers—implored the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to bolster relief efforts in Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. After all, medical devices and pharmaceuticals account for Puerto Rico’s top exports.
Although AdvaMed praised the “coordination efforts” between HHS, the U.S. FDA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and medical technology manufacturers, the trade group reinforced Puerto Rico’s need for resources, including food and fresh water. “Our industry has been in regular contact with your agency and we look forward to continuing to work together to reestablish communication and power to our members’ facilities as soon as possible,” AdvaMed wrote to Acting Secretary Wright.
AdvaMed, the group continued, represents more than 20 medical technology manufacturers in Puerto Rico that employ more than 12,000 locals—and develop integral medical technologies including heart valves, pacemakers, and defibrillators.
“We have been in communication with federal and local authorities in an effort to get these facilities stabilized and ensure as little disruption as possible to the supply that is so critical to patients,” AdvaMed wrote. Still, “as the delivery of medical technology plays a vital role in the entire healthcare ecosystem, we would be grateful for any assistance you could provide in prioritizing these facilities as power and communications are restored.”
AdvaMed added that its companies are currently shipping satellite phones, diesel fuel, water, batteries, medical supplies, and generators to the island, along with contributing to aid organizations—“further demonstrating our commitment to this effort,” they said.
“Medical technology companies are partners in these recovery efforts, and we look forward to continuing to partner with you,” they concluded the letter.