Today AdvaMed asked the Department of Commerce to take action on the semiconductor chip shortage to ensure it does not cause supply chain disruption that affects the delivery of healthcare in the United States. The industry trade association submitted a letter in response to the Commerce Department’s request for public comments on the risks in the semiconductor supply chain.
Although medical devices and diagnostics comprise a much smaller percentage of the semiconductor chip market compared to other industries such as the automotive sector (note, the shortage affects an estimated 170 industries), many of the medical technologies that use these chips are critical equipment and life saving—from robotic surgical systems, pacemakers, ventilators and EKGs to patient monitoring systems.
AdvaMed commissioned Deloitte to conduct a study to assess the magnitude of the chip shortage in the medtech industry. “Researchers at Deloitte found that the chips shortage is not confined to one organization or one technology, rather it’s becoming an acute, industry-wide issue for the hundreds of diagnostics, therapeutics, and capital equipment companies that produce essential medical technologies,” AdvaMed’s letter to the Department of Congress stated.
“Even as the medical devices industry has proven nimble and adaptive, avoiding disruptions in the delivery of patient care, the ongoing shortages which are predicted to go on well into next year present an unsustainable situation for our industry. As we noted at the outset, medical devices is only a sliver of the overall chips market, but it is undeniably a critical sector that supports our national security. While the expansion of the domestic industrial base for chips is a welcome initiative that AdvaMed fully supports for long term supply chain resilience, it is critical that policy makers and chips supply chain partners work together to ensure that delivery of healthcare in America is not disrupted in the near term. Accordingly, we look forward to working with the Department of Commerce, the interagency and key private sector partners to raise awareness about the unique and critical needs of our sector and explore ways that chips for medical uses are prioritized over non-essential uses.” – AdvaMed letter to Department of Congress