In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, several desperate clients emailed Mike Bowen's medical factory based in Texas daily to purchase N95 masks. Upon hearing that N95 masks could filter out the virus, Americans searched for N95 masks in every outlet, including online stores. The demand for n95 mask has increased a lot since then.
N95 Masks

 

However, almost a year later, individuals cannot access the N94 masks for sale because the demand surpasses the supply. Even healthcare workers have been forced to reuse their N95 masks.

According to the information published on the CDC website, N95 masks should be conserved for HCW only. According to The Washington Post,organizations called on the federal government to facilitate more N95 mask production.

The problem of an intense shortage of masks was evident from an August 2020 survey. According to the study involving 21,500 American nurses, 65% of the respondents said they had reused their N95 respirators. One nurse said that she had been re-using a mask that she received in March. You can visit site here to buy N95 masks for yourself.

A statement from the American Hospital Association also termed shortages of N95 masks as a fragile issue that needed quick remedies. Despite the government's move to invest approximately $300 million in the production of N95 masks, the shortage is still a challenge. The following are some of the reasons for the lack of N95 masks.

Lack of Government Commitment

The federal government is yet to issue a Defense Production Act similar to that it issued in ventilators' production. It has been challenging to find an N95 mask for sale because production has remained small despite increasing demand.

Instead of giving a DCP that would enhance the output of N95 masks, the government allowed manufacturers to increase production as they deemed fit without funding more potential manufacturers to expand productivity.

The manufacturers also feared that lack of long-term assurance that the government that would purchase their kits might push them into making losses. The manufacturers have avoided investing in the massive production of N95 masks to prevent possible future losses. Production remains low.

The strategies of local hospitals

Hospitals are partly to blame for the problem of N95 mask shortage. Hospitals agreed with medical-supply companies to provide PPE kits on an as-needed basis instead of purchasing sufficient stock to cut costs.

Hospitals also hoped that the federal government would step in with its strategic national stockpile and help them.

However, they did not know that since the depletion of PPEs during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, the government never replenished its reserves.

Protection of intellectual property

Studies have also revealed that the manufacturers of N95 masks have protected their production processes from safeguarding intellectual property. The companies have refused to share information because they do not want their competitors to start producing N95 masks.

It has also been difficult to find an N95 mask for sale because early last year, the HHS refused to give the green light to a company that could have manufactured millions of N95 masks.

HHS ordered its first batch of N95 masks on March 21st, 2020, when the US had already reported more than 8,000 Covid-19 infection cases.