Many large medtech companies have manufacturing operations in the U.S. island territory.
Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) has not received any reports of significant damage to its five facilities in Puerto Rico and planned to restart operations today if employees are safe and can report to work, the company told Medical Design & Outsourcing. The company also has a manufacturing facility in the Dominican Republic.
“Given the path of Hurricane Fiona, our teams have been monitoring and are continuing to monitor both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic,” the company said. “The safety of our employees and their families is our primary concern. At this time, we are working to gather information regarding employee impacts. … All Puerto Rico sites are currently operating on generator power and capable of full operations.”
Medtronic said it has approximately 7,100 employees in Puerto Rico (including 2,220 contingent workers) and approximately 4,300 employees in the Dominican Republic (including 200 contingent workers). The company said its Medtronic Foundation is committing $100,000 to support storm relief in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic with an employee 2:1 match.
Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) has about 800 employees in Puerto Rico and a medical device manufacturing facility in Dorado that supports the neuromodulation and rhythm management businesses.
“Our first priority is the well-being of our local team, who are all safe and accounted for,” Boston Scientific spokesperson Kate Haranis told MDO on Monday. “We took proactive steps to prepare for the storm and our site remains fully functional, though we’ve scaled back some shifts in light of travel advisories. We expect operations to resume at normal levels once the storm subsides and travel advisories in the area are lifted.”
Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) said it prepared for Fiona with business continuity processes and mitigation actions.
“We believe our team and supply chain were well-prepared and we are now assessing the impact of the storm and will provide additional updates as details become available,” spokesperson Sarah Huoh emailed.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) said it expected nearly all of its Puerto Rico sites to resume operations Monday “with full production resuming in the coming days.”
Our top priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and their families in Puerto Rico, while also ensuring the availability of our products for patients and consumers who rely on us,” the company said in a statement. “We are actively monitoring conditions in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona, including the impact on our employees and our facilities.”
Stryker (NYSE: SYK) makes disposable medical devices at its facility in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. The company said on Tuesday that the facility is “running normal operations as of today.”
“We are closely monitoring Hurricane Fiona and its impact on Puerto Rico,” the company said in a statement. “The health and safety of our employees is our top priority and we are continuing to make contact with them to ensure they and their families are safe.”
MDO has reached out to other major medical device companies with operations in Puerto Rico for more information about their operations and relief efforts and we’ll update this story with more information as it’s available. (If you have information to share, email me at email@example.com)
Though Hurricane Fiona is less powerful than the Category 4 Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico five years ago, the island’s weakened infrastructure — compounded by a swarm of earthquakes since 2019 — left residents and property vulnerable to another storm.
On Monday, the National Hurricane Center reported catastrophic and life-threatening flooding across much of Puerto Rico as the center of the hurricane moved toward the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.
Puerto Rico remained under a tropical storm warning, with rain totals expected to surpass 30 inches for the storm in southern Puerto Rico and 20 inches in northern Puerto Rico. The National Hurricane Center warned or mudslides and landslides through Monday night.
Luma Energy, Puerto Rico’s power company, said its crews have restored electricity to more than 100,000 customers following yesterday’s complete outage across the island.
“We will continue to work non-stop until every customer is restored and the entire grid is reenergized,” LUMA Public Safety Manager, Abner Gómez said in a news release. “While these efforts continue over the coming days, we strongly encourage customers to continue to exercise caution and stay away from any downed powerlines.”
President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for the U.S. territory on Sunday before Fiona strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane.
This post was originally published on Sept. 19, 2022, and updated throughout the day. The story was updated again on Sept. 20, 2022 with information from Stryker.