Posted on 07/29/2022

The recent news that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) including wearable and nonwearable versions, chest drains/ suction canisters and autotransfusion systems have been added to the list of medical devices in short supply by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 20, 2022, is a very real and potentially life-threatening issue for many patients, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The FDA cited that this is due to both an increase in demand for these devices and a global shortage of the semiconductor components used in the devices, which has been an ongoing issue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rebecca Wu, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “It’s important for governments to prioritize this shortage as devices such as AEDs are used during sudden cardiac arrests and the use of an AED device could mean life or death for a patient. Governments should find solutions such as providing incentives like grants to domestic manufacturers to help lessen the burden of the global shortages. This could increase efforts for new local semiconductor manufacturing and make countries less dependent on other countries during a global crisis. Furthermore, this could help with economic growth and job creations.”

Even giants like Medtronic are struggling to obtain semiconductor chips, or the exact kind for their devices. Unfortunately, semiconductors are not the only parts that are being hit by a shortage of supply as resins and packaging have also been affected. This shortage could cause a backlog in the manufacturing process, which could cause the revenues of medical device companies to decline as less products would be produced.

Wu continues: “It is evident that many medical device companies were not prepared for the effects of a supply chain shortage. This experience should encourage companies and federal partners and stakeholders to put policies and plans in place to prepare for potential supply chain shortages in the future. On a brighter note, while these devices were added to the shortage list, medical gowns and surgical masks have been removed.”

SOURCE: Global Data