Building Medical Supply Chain Resilience through a U.S. Manufacturing Reserve and Digital Stockpile

Author: Sabrina Merlo


To prevent another medical supply chain breakdown like the one experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government must create an emergency response plan to activate domestic, local medical supply manufacturing. A national network of small-to-mid-size manufacturers and prototyping labs—a U.S. Prototyping and Manufacturing Reserve—should be formalized and incentivized to act as first responders for emergency innovation and medical supply manufacturing needs.

To properly equip the Reserve, the Federal Government should build a comprehensive library of open source medical and emergency supply “blueprints”—a U.S. Digital Stockpile—that consists of manufacturing requirements to enable distributed local emergency production. Combined, these new national security resources will facilitate rapid local response to both regional disasters and international supply chain disruptions.

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About the Author

Sabrina Merlo serves as Head of Local Response at Open Source Medical Supplies (OSMS), building an international community of practice across engineers, manufacturers, designers, crafters, and medical professionals around the world working in their communities to fill medical supply shortages stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to OSMS, Sabrina was one of the creators of Maker Faire, the internationally recognized festival brand celebrating makers and the culture of innovation.