EDMONTON, ALBERTA / ACCESSWIRE / June 11, 2020 / While many countries have struggled with shortages of medical supplies during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has been able to maintain a functioning stock of vitally important personal protective equipment (PPE)-specifically face masks, isolation gowns, and examination gloves. PRI·MED Medical Products, an independently-owned, Edmonton-based PPE manufacturer is proud to have played a critical role in this effort. In addition to supplying nearly every healthcare facility in Canada, PRI·MED also supplies hundreds of hospitals and clinics in the United States, Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
It was in January; as the outbreak began to accelerate in China, that PRI·MED recognized “business as usual” would no longer work amid the emerging national crisis and potential pandemic. Since 2005, the company has owned and operated its own manufacturing facilities in China, as Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprises (WOFEs), where it employs approximately 900 local workers. As the Chinese supply chain and exports tightened, PRI·MED put in place contingency manufacturing and supply chain solutions, which have led to continued uninterrupted supply to existing hospital contracts and increased support for provincial and federal pandemic requirements. Through myriad challenges, from raw materials and production to export and logistics; PRI·MED’s experienced employees have worked diligently to deliver on the increased needs of high-quality PPE to the Canadian market. One means of expediting critical supplies included securing multiple charter flights, which would deliver its products to the Canadian front line workers within days of production completion.
The seventh and most recent chartered plane landed at the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) on Sunday, June 7, filled exclusively with PRI·MED’s products. The cargo weighed over 49,000 kg (54 U.S. tons) encompassing more than 462 cubic metres. The shipment of 2,500 cases of high-quality PRI·MED branded face masks (1.25 million individual masks) and 5,750 cases of AAMI 2 isolation gowns (345,000 individual gowns) is destined for distribution to the provincial health authority, Alberta Health Services.
In its 25 years of operation, PRI·MED’s employees gained valuable experience working through previous pandemics. Applying the lessons learned in SARS and H1N1, PRI·MED employees implemented pandemic contingency plans which have proven to ensure continued delivery of high-quality products to frontline workers. In a time of extreme shortage and many companies unable to fulfill contractual obligations, PRI·MED has been recognized by many as the most reliable source for PPE to the Canadian market.
“I am extremely proud of all PRI·MED employees in both Canada and China,” said David Welsh, President and CEO of PRI·MED Medical Products. “They have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty to ensure Canadian healthcare workers and the public remain protected during COVID-19. We are excited to announce more in the upcoming days and weeks how PRI·MED is strengthening its global supply chain, with an extra focus on Canada.”
In preparing for the dedicated flight transport, PRI·MED also worked closely with the Edmonton International Airport to ensure smooth and swift logistics and place a priority on Canadian medical supplies. “We have tremendous respect for our partner PRI·MED,” said Tom Ruth, Edmonton International Airport President and CEO. “We are also very proud that EIA’s air cargo community and facilities are able to meet the unique supply chain needs of PRI·MED in their important work, securing critical supplies for the region we serve. Our collective team of logistics professionals are winning a reputation for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region through their ability to handle critical cargo with safety and integrity.”
While the immediate COVID-19 crisis is subsiding, the threat of additional waves continues to linger. Regardless, Canadians can be assured that in Edmonton; situated among a cluster of office parks, the employees of PRI·MED are prepared to take on any challenge.