David Forbes

David Forbes

VP of Supply Chain Management at United Urology Group

United Urology Group
David Forbes, VP of Supply Chain Management for UUG, on his path into supply chain

Professional background?

My professional experience is founded in my academic background. I majored in supply chain management when earning a degree in business from Miami University in Ohio. 

From there, I got my start in residential-home building, then moved into healthcare. My first role in healthcare was business intelligence consulting around strategic sourcing at The Advisory Board Company. I went on to run a sourcing and value analysis programme at a medium-sized hospital in Baltimore. 

Then I moved to the Health Industry Distributors Association, where I set up industry standards around communications between trading partners across the healthcare supply chain. 

After a couple of years of that, the opportunity at United Urology Group came along. UUG wanted me to set up a supply chain programme from the ground up.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

I’m passionate about healthcare. I care about access to care for everyone. I am a single piece in a large machine that helps make sick people well, and also prevents people from getting sick in the first place. I don't know how you couldn't get passionate about that.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Shortages and back orders. In the healthcare industry, we've never seen it as bad as it is right now. It's so much bigger than what we experienced during COVID, when it was all about just finding PPE. Now it's even branded pharmaceuticals we have such a tough time getting our hands on. And the difficult part is that there's no clear end in sight.

What is causing shortages of drugs?

We've offshored almost all generic active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing to India and, to a lesser extent, China. At some point a number of these manufacturers have lost the financial incentive to keep up with demand. 

We have offshored our entire pharmaceutical ingredient supply chain and have little within the United States. Having a supply chain spread across multiple territories means you are exposed to geopolitical issues, and there's just no easy answers for those types of situations.

Proudest moment professionally?

It's got to be the staff I've managed throughout my career, and seeing many of them promoted into bigger and brighter things, and going on to make a huge impact in the healthcare industry.

Who inspires you? 

Again, my staff, and the way we push each other to be better and better so we can make an impact within our own organisation.

Best piece of advice ever received?

Never be afraid to stretch yourself, because you can be surprised how much you can achieve when you're pushed.


Read the full story HERE.

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