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Which of These Pills is the One You Take?

September 10, 2007

56988624_6962de6563 In case of a disaster, Ready.gov tell us to Get a Kit. Everyone’s kit should have those medications that they’re currently taking. Some medications, like heart and high blood pressure pills, can be life savers. The website says that patients should talk with their doctors about storing extra medication in case of a disaster situation. For those without medical insurance, or on limited incomes, this is as impossible as stopping the disaster. As we’ve seen too often, folks are unprepared and, in a disaster situation, go without their medication – often to their detriment.

With that in mind, there’s an effort underway to help bring medications into disaster sites. PhRMA, the trade group of pharmaceutical manufacturers, has spearheaded a coalition to make sure that folks can get their medication in times of need. This coalition, dubbed Rx Response, has set in place two efforts to accomplish this. One, they’ve designated a command center that will coordinate distribution centers, companies, supply chains and truck routing. In an event, this command center would be stood up and help to move meds into the area. Two, they’ve put together a website, RxResponse.org that will coordinate public information (such as the location of distribution centers, etc.), and allow folks with preparing for a disaster. There’s a tool there that enables folks to print out a card with the name and dosage instructions for their medications. When presenting to an unfamiliar pharmacist, the person need only hand over the card, instead of trying to remember what meds they’re on (read: two blue pills twice a day and one big yellow pill before bed – I think).

So, what do I think? I think this is a great example of fore-thought. I’m an old lefty with a public health background, so I tend to view everything PhRMA does with contempt, but I have to say I’m pretty impressed. Along with their many, many partners they’ve taken the lead on attacking a real problem. Frankly, I’d love to see this effort become a component of ESF-8. And PhRMA? You surprise me – keep it up. In return, I’m going to throw RxResponse.org on my Resources page.

Original article from NOLA.com.

Photo credit: “Boots McKenzie”

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