Blood Collection Shortages – What does this mean

13 May 2022

Another supply chain issue from the pandemic has been found with the main suppliers of vacuum blood collection serum tubes. Something seemingly insignificant like a blood collection tube can have such an enormous impact, on such a global scale.

It has caught the attention of the FDA with the sodium citrate light blue cap tube listed on their device shortage list. This was listed due to an increased demand along with supplier challenges with supply chain. Now, this has extended to all types.

Vendors are overlooking blood collection accessories, PCR consumables, analytical consumables & focusing on higher demand items. When the demand has subsided, the global market is left short on consumables. There is an issue causing shortages of raw material, sky-rocketing oil costs and a very unpredictable international market.

The continuing demand coming from the main suppliers can result in larger markets such as the United States and Germany holding back exports to support their own health systems.

Just-in-time inventories are good when supply is stable and consistent, however in the current climate is risky, avoided by most who have the resources to stockpile where practical. The market has been the same for many other lines, and the vacutainer shortage typifies Covid-19 procurement pattern: demand outweighs supply, procurement frameworks significantly change, supply catches up, vendors are re-evaluated, and availability returns to normal.

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