The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) is reportedly terminating more ventilator contracts as the national stockpile is full.
The Hill reported today that HHS is throwing out some of the contracts that totaled $3 billion as the U.S. government sought to supply as many ventilators as possible during the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This news follows a recent announcement from Royal Philips (NYSE:PHG) that it would not be supplying the remaining 30,700 ventilators it was slated to manufacture by December to the Strategic National Stockpile, with HHS canceling the contract after the Amsterdam-based company delivered 12,300 total bundled ventilator configurations supplied to the stockpile through August, falling in line with the stipulations of the contract.
HHS has not divulged details on any terms of their cancelations, The Hill reported, but it told the outlet that contracts with Hamilton Medical and Vyaire Medical to produce more than 36,000 ventilators by the end of 2020 were canceled.
An HHS spokesperson told MassDevice that the Philips contract is being terminated, but is subject to an internal HHS investigation and legal review, so there is no further comment available regarding that contract.
The spokesperson added that the early termination of Vyaire and Hamilton came as a result of the efforts to expand the national stockpile producing enough ventilators to meet maximum national capacity, and the termination of the contracts allow HHS to balance federal stockpile requirements with commercial demand for ventilators, which the department says will save U.S. taxpayers millions by stopping the delivery of devices that are no longer required.
Vyaire will complete and deliver no more than 4,000 LTV-2200 ventilator kits and 800 resupply kits by Sept. 13, 2020, while Hamilton will deliver no more than 4,518 of its Hamilton Military T-1 V2 ventilator kits by Sept. 30, 2020, resulting in a reduction of more than 38,000 ventilators scheduled to be delivered to the stockpile by the end of the year.
“Currently, the SNS has more than 120,000 ventilators available for deployment to public health jurisdictions as needed,” the HHS spokesperson said. “To date, the SNS has not experienced a shortfall of ventilators to support public health and healthcare facilities treating COVID-19 patients. If states, tribal nations, territories or local public health jurisdictions need ventilators and are unable to secure commercial supplies, they may continue to request federal assistance through the established process.
“The stockpiled ventilators procured during the COVID-19 response ensure the United States is prepared for areas experiencing pandemic surge as well as any future public health emergency response that might require these devices for lifesaving care.”
This story was updated with information from an HHS spokesperson.