FDA, NIH, VA Facilitating Manufacturing and Distribution of 3D Printed Swabs for COVID-19 Testing

May 25, 2020

by ASME.org

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are working together to promote the manufacturing and distribution of 3D printed swabs for COVID-19 testing. The agencies will soon share 3D printing models of the swabs with community stakeholders and provide guidance on how to best distribute the swabs. The FDA is encouraging manufacturers that intent to develop 3D printed testing swabs to focus on proper labeling of the swabs, the durability of the swabs themselves, and their ability to properly retain the collected specimens.

NIH is planning to make available a webpage where manufacturers can share potential 3D designs and advice. NIH is also currently preparing a collection of 3D designs that can be used to print other personal protective equipment (PPE). The three partnering agencies are hoping to share information on 3D printing PPE with each other in an effort to help manufacturers that have not traditional produced medical devices adapt to the new market demands. The collaboration of the three agencies is indicative of a broader government effort to rally resources and pursue promising technologies in its efforts to combat COVID-19. In addition to working with each other, the agencies are also partnering with America Makes Manufacturing USA Institute, which is already helping connect manufacturers to healthcare workers to identify and address current medical needs.

ASME recently held a virtual Congressional Briefing with America Makes on Pandemic Response in the Era of Manufacturing USA. For more information on the briefing, or to watch a video recording, please visit: https://www.asme.org/government-relations/capitol-update/asme-hosts-first-virtual-congressional-briefing-on-manufacturing-usas-response-to-covid-19.

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