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Emergency Preparedness in Rhode Island - Pharmaceutical Industry Volunteer Disaster Response Plan

Raymond J. Wright, CMR, Pfizer, Inc., 20 Southwoods Dr., Uxbridge, MA 01569, Greg Banner, MS, Chief, Environmental Health, State of Rhode Island - Department of Health, 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908, Elizabeth MacLean, PharmD, Clinical Education Consultant, Pfizer, Inc., 273 Pond Street, Wakefield, RI 02879, 401-792-1048, elizabeth.maclean@pfizer.com, and Colleen M. Moffitt, MS, RPh, Clinical Education Consultant, Pfizer, Inc, 377 Kettle Pond Dr., Wakefield, RI 02879.

Recent catastrophic events in the US have underscored the need to strengthen emergency preparedness as related to medication supplies. During these events, demand for specific pharmacologic agents strained local supplies. The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is a federal emergency supply of medical provisions intended for local delivery within 12 hours of state request. To supplement healthcare facility inventories and the SNS supply, the RI Department of Health (RIDOH), in conjunction with RI based pharmaceutical representative liaisons, has developed the Pharmaceutical Industry Volunteer Disaster Response Plan. The plan allows for authorized mobilization of volunteer representatives to lawfully transfer pharmaceutical samples to a designated healthcare facility. During August 2003, exercises were conducted to simulate response to rapid spread of a pneumonic plague. Objectives were to quantify volunteer representatives contacted and able to respond within 48 hours, quantify samples available, estimate response time and site storage requirements. 104 representatives from six companies were targeted for inclusion and 42.3% indicated ability to respond. Mean estimated time to Providence was <3 hours. 49,400 doses of targeted medications were available. Exercises revealed that a receiving facility must be able to ensure orderly traffic flow; while transferring, sorting and storing tens of thousands of doses in a relatively short time period. Sorting and preparation would likely demand more additional space than what was planned for storage alone. Hospitals and municipalities should consider developing plans with local pharmaceutical industry representatives to enhance ability to address a large-scale disaster.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Emergency, Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Employee of Pfizer, Inc.

Disaster and Terrorism Poster Session

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA