ALEXANDRIA, Va. Pharmacy and health care organizations joined together Wednesday in announcing the creation of Rx Response, a program designed to preserve and protect public health in the event of a severe emergency. Phil Schneider, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation president, participated in the announcement in New Orleans.
"NACDS is a proud supporter of the proactive partnership to enable health care service providers, such as pharmacists, to better plan for and respond to the needs of those impacted by emergencies and natural disasters," Schneider remarked. "The information and guidelines set forth by Rx Response will enable pharmacists to more effectively serve their patients during times when community pharmacy services cannot be provided in a traditional setting."
Uniting companies and organizations that play roles in distributing medicine to patients—including the pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing industries, as well as distribution and retailing companies, hospitals and pharmacies—Rx Response will address major domestic public health emergencies of national significance, such as disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. With Rx Response in place, there will now be a stable and reliable forum for industry segments to share information in the face of disaster. The partners in the program have worked with the American Red Cross and the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security to identify and address issues and challenges involving the pharmaceutical product supply chain. The program will support information-sharing among partners, community volunteer relief organizations and local, state and federal agencies responding to major disasters by addressing challenges and helping support the continued delivery of critical medicines.
As pharmacists are some of the first-responders in times to crises, it is critical for them to be part of the communications chain to help support the continued delivery of medicines to patients. NACDS hopes to use its experience in past public health emergencies, as well as its member companies, to help plan for future emergency situations.