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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(1):17-21.

Regional pharmaceutical preparation for biological and chemical terrorism.

Author information

1
Pittsburgh Poison Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA. mrvosr@chplink.chp.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The United States National Office of Domestic Preparedness has determined that the threat of a biological or chemical attack is very real. As an active participant of a 13-county regional task force, one of the roles of the poison center was to determine the pharmaceutical needs of the community in the event of a terrorist action and develop a financially responsible method of acquisition and storage.

METHODS:

Working with local health officials, an extensive literature review was conducted to identify possible biological and chemical poisons. Treatment recommendations were identified and an estimated amount to treat 5,000 people for 24hrs was determined. Instead of purchasing the medications, a unique solution utilizing a regional pharmacy wholesaler was used.

DISCUSSION:

An important element in a biological or chemical terrorist event is the availability of the pharmaceuticals and the capability of delivering them rapidly. The poison center is the ideal agency to help coordinate this endeavor since it is familiar with contemporary therapy and will be aware of the number, location, and status of casualties. Based on the expense involved in the purchase and storage of a large quantity of medications, utilizing a local pharmaceutical distribution company is fiscally responsible. Rotation through normal stock and being readily accessible is another benefit.

CONCLUSION:

The poison center serves a number of roles in the surveillance, recognition, and treatment of biological and chemical terrorism. Assisting in the development, implementation, and procurement of a pharmaceutical cache is yet another role.

PMID:
12645963
DOI:
10.1081/clt-120018266
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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