Citywide Pharmaceutical Preparation For Bioterrorism

Colleen M. Terriff and Amy M. Tee


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2001;58(3) 

In This Article

Appendix B

The threat of bioterrorism and biological warfare is increasing. Many microorganisms and toxins are easily acquired and mass-produced as aerosolized biological weapons. Contact of populations with these microorganisms has the potential to produce mass casualties that may overwhelm the public health system. It is critical that Spokane increase its preparedness for such attacks. Pharmacologic antidotes are available to treat many biological warfare agents (see attached chart [Appendix A]). However, hospital pharmacies may have an insufficient supply of necessary medications if many people are exposed. The attached chart includes information about treatment of confirmed cases, postexposure prophylaxis, isolation precautions, and local availability of agents.

The protocol below outlines the procedures for obtaining medications that may not be available or that may be stocked in insufficient quantities in the pharmacy.

  1. The pharmacy will be notified as soon as an exposure is known and will be given an estimate of how many patients may have been exposed.

  2. The pharmacy will refer to the attached chart to determine which hospitals stock the necessary medications.

  3. The pharmacy will call nearby hospitals and try to obtain the items. [Hospital names and telephone numbers listed]

  4. The pharmacy will attempt to obtain the items from the wholesaler. [Wholesaler telephone number and after-hours pager number listed]

  5. The pharmacy will obtain assistance from resources outside the local area:

    Risk and Emergency Manager
    Department of Health
    [regional telephone number listed]

    Emergency Coordinator
    U.S. Public Health Service

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emergency Response

    Poison Control Center
    [regional telephone number listed]

    Domestic Preparedness (partnership of federal agencies)
    800-424-8802 (emergency)
    800-368-6498 (nonemergency/information/ planning)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Bioterrorism, Preparedness, and Response


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