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Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008 Sep;128(9):1275-83.

Pharmaceutical supply for disaster victims who need chronic disease management in region with aging population based on lessons learned from the Noto Peninsula Earthquake in 2007.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa City, Japan.


The lessons from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and Chuuetsu Earthquake showed us how difficult it is to keep chronic disease management for survivors of such large-scale earthquakes, particularly for elderly people. To solve the problem, an ordinance for enforcement on exceptional practices was issued for the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law Article 49 Clause 1. The law allows selling prescription medicines for patients with chronic diseases who have difficulties to continue their medications due to a large-scale disaster. To make it work, the patient should demonstrate that he or she continuously received the medication by presenting either Medication Notebook or prescription book recorded by the pharmacist. However, the Separation Rate of Prescription and Dispensing in Japan is still low; in particular, that in Ishikawa prefecture, where the Noto Peninsula Earthquake (M 6.9) occurred on March 25, 20007, is very low. It means that few victims hold a Medication Notebook. In consideration of this situation, we conducted a questionnaire survey of elderly victims of the Noto Peninsula Earthquake with a key-informant-interview during the period from July through August, 2007. This study revealed that: 1) Only 16% (18/110) of respondents kept a Medication Notebook; 2) 75% (82/110) had chronic diseases and received medication regularly; 3) Of 81 who had chronic diseases, 42% (34/91) were dispensed at the same pharmacy always, (The rest received from either clinic or changing pharmacy according to clinic location); and 4) Diseases that the respondents had were hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and so on. Based on these results, we discuss the establishment of a pharmaceutical supply system that can effectively distribute appropriate medicines to patients under difficult situations following a large-scale disaster in Japan.

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