Pharma companies are hoarding PPE

American biotech and pharmaceutical companies have massive supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment) that healthcare workers desperately need right now. Outside healthcare these industries are the largest consumer of gloves, masks, gowns, and laboratory supplies. As a consultant who works in these companies I can tell you from experience that it is quite common for these companies, particularly ones with manufacturing and laboratory operations, to use thousands of sets of PPE per day. The “bunny suits” as they are often called are used just once and discarded when entering clean rooms; and each clean room area often requires re-gowning to prevent cross contamination. The labs in these companies similarly have supplies of pipettes, reagents, eyewear and disinfecting agents that hospitals are running out of during the crisis.

While some of these companies are still conducting essential operations to manufacture critical drug products, many are not — as their products are still in R&D phase. As these businesses are likely shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders should immediately offer their supplies to local hospitals and healthcare facilities.

American Essayist | Contributing Opinion Writer SF Chronicle