The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA)—the trade association representing manufacturers of medical imaging equipment, radiopharmaceuticals, contrast media, and focused ultrasound therapeutic devices—has submitted comments to leadership of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee offering feedback on the PREVENT Pandemics Act and ways in which the medical imaging technology community can help to strengthen the country’s pandemic preparedness.
The letter notes, “Given the power of medical imaging to quickly and non-invasively evaluate anatomy and physiological processes, we anticipate medical imaging plays a crucial role in any future public health emergencies, including pandemics.”
MITA proposes to modernize and strengthen the supply chain by expanding which medical technologies are included in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). At a minimum, the letter recommends that this include replacement parts and associated accessories for capital medical equipment to ensure ongoing functioning of devices, ultrasound systems, mobile x-ray systems, and contrast and associated contrast injection systems.
The letter also recommends that planning processes be implemented to replace products in the SNS before expiration or end of shelf-life and clarify “working condition or usable” definitions for SNS devices. The letter also responds to proposed policies to enhance medical product development and combat shortages and how best to mitigate the impact of future supply chain issues resulting from pandemic conditions.
Beyond items already included in the proposed legislation, MITA also recommends that Senators consider expanding the bill to:
- Streamline FDA regulatory requirements for applicable medical imaging devices
- Establish processes to maintain continuity of non-pandemic medical care
- Implement consistent caseload reporting metrics
- Provide additional research funding for the value of imaging to pandemic disease
Finally, the letter notes that “the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all sectors of society and resulted in many lessons learned that we trust will inform decisions concerning preparation for future pandemics and other large-scale public health emergencies. The medical imaging manufacturing industry stands ready to partner with Congress and other stakeholders to ensure that the United States is prepared to best respond to future pandemics.”
To read the full letter, click here.