HHS releases guidelines for stockpiling antiviral drugs

Emergency Management Alert, December 23, 2008

It’s been widely recognized that stockpiling drugs is one of the chief concerns in mitigating a pandemic. In response, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has provided some guidance for emergency managers in the event of pandemic flu.

Although HHS notes it is currently stockpiling drugs to treat people during a pandemic, these guidelines place responsibility on employers to implement safety measures for their employees. The suggestions also point specifically to preventive antiviral drug use for certain individuals following exposure to someone with pandemic flu, including nursing home residents, and people with weakened immune systems. Prophylaxis of high-risk healthcare workers is also recommended, as well as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of healthcare and emergency services workers who do not routinely come into contact with ill people (e.g. medical records staff, 911 dispatchers).

These recommendations replace those published by HHS in 2005. They are not requirements, but suggestions for antiviral strategies and stockpiling.

To access the guidelines, click here.


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