Issue Date: October 10, 2011
Local Storage Urged For Anthrax Meds
Public health officials on the state and local levels should determine where and how antibiotics should be stored in their communities, as part of preparations for a large-scale terrorist attack using anthrax, the Institute of Medicine says in a new report. It recommends that these officials work with the federal government to assess the costs and benefits of strategies that pre-position antibiotics in high-risk areas. However, the report discourages a broad home-storage strategy for the general population because of possible antibiotic misuse and higher costs. “Delivering antibiotics effectively following an anthrax attack is a tremendous public health challenge,” says Robert R. Bass, chair of the committee that wrote the report and executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. Current plans for dispensing antibiotics rely heavily on postattack delivery from state stockpiles or the federal government’s national repository of medicine and medical supplies. The report notes that the U.S. has an ample inventory of the antibiotics. The issue, it says, is how to get the medication into people’s hands soon enough to be effective.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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