20 March 2020
To our Valued Customers,
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop we would like to take the opportunity to provide an update on the actions that Slade Health are taking to ensure business continuity and our continued capacity to supply compounded products to you.
Our current actions are focused on protecting three key elements of our business:
• The health and safety of our workforce
• The distribution of our compounded products
• Our supply chain for essential materials and services
Our management and production teams are meeting daily to review the evolving situation and implement whatever actions are required to ensure we will continue to be able to supply high quality compounded products.
Health and safety of our workforce
We have implemented extensive additional controls within our facilities to protect the health and safety of our people. These actions are designed to minimise the risk of transmission within and between our teams, but also minimise the number of people who would potentially be quarantined in the event of a confirmed case. Understanding that quarantine of some team members may still occur, we are working to ensure we will continue to be able to maintain supply with a potentially reduced workforce.
Our actions include:
• Heightened cleaning and sanitisation regimes throughout our facilities
• Moved any staff who are not essential to production to remote working arrangements
• Implementing segregation measures within and between our teams to ensure social distancing is maintained
• Implementing controls to mitigate risk from commonly touched surfaces or potential congregation points
• Ceased entry of any non-essential persons to our facilities
• Implemented additional PPE for production teams
• Conducted training and qualification within our wider workforce to provide redundancy (where appropriate) to our essential production teams
Our highly-engineered cleanroom facilities and equipment and our trained and validated staff and processes are designed to protect the integrity and safety of our compounded products. Our experience and resources in this area and the high levels of process control and attention to detail required for compliance to GMP have put us in good stead to reduce the risk to our highly-skilled production teams.
Distribution of our compounded products
We anticipate that social protection measures and other actions taken within the distribution industry across Australia may impact our normal distribution mechanisms, particularly in some regional areas. Our dedicated logistics team is maintaining close and ongoing communication with our third-party logistics providers to ensure we have the most current information possible. We will adapt as needed as this situation evolves – we have our own courier fleet and we are engaging with emergency services to ensure our life-saving medicines are delivered to you.
Our experienced procurement team have risk assessed the supply of all materials and services we use to operate our manufacturing facilities. Where supply is critical and we identify that there is a risk of interruption to supply we are taking action to mitigate that risk.
Each of our facilities has its own warehouse facilities and we are ensuring our buffer stock is sufficient and maintained. We are utilising alternate suppliers and alternate materials where required. We are working with the rest of the therapeutic goods industry and the TGA to ensure essential medicines continue to be available to hospitals around Australia throughout this time.
Slade Health’s primary focus has always been to keep the patient at the centre of everything we do. We appreciate that you, our hospital partners, provide direct patient care throughout Australia. Regardless of whether the patients you are caring for are affected by COVID-19 or not, we understand that the coming months will have many challenges for you.
Our teams have mobilised to take all actions possible to protect our capacity to continue to supply compounded products. We are focused on ensuring we will be able to maintain a safe supply of compounded products during this time when hospitals are expected to be severely challenged.
We assure you that while we may need to implement innovative solutions to the challenges that will come over the coming months, we will always maintain compliance to Good Manufacturing Practice, ensuring that our products are safe for use by the patients who depend on them.
We ask that wherever possible, to please place your orders for compounded products as much in advance as you can. This will help us enormously in scheduling our manufacturing operations so we can maintain consistent supply to you.
Our team will stay in close contact with you to work through any challenges that may be presented. However, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local Key Account Manager.