Aug 6, 2021 - Health

Medical suppliers stuck with a glut of personal protective equipment

Two EMTs stand in a hospital hallway and put on yellow protective equipment outside a patient rom.
EMTs put on personal protective equipment. Photo: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

McKesson and Cardinal Health are sitting on huge inventories of personal protective equipment, some of which they estimate won't be used or will expire, resulting in a $164 million loss for McKesson and a $197 million loss for Cardinal in the second quarter.

Between the lines: Last year, during the height of the pandemic, PPE was in high demand but short supply, leading to high prices and long waits.

  • Now that supply has caught up, some medical distributors have too much and believe a lot will go unsold, although McKesson said it would donate some of its excess PPE.
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