Involving corporations in dispensing during mass prophylaxis
Smith, Chester Lee
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The purpose of the mass prophylaxis following a bioterrorist attack is to reduce fear within the community and to reduce loss of life to the disease. Current U.S. government guidance provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for response to an anthrax attack states that the optimal amount of time for distribution of prophylaxis to the community is two days. Yet, how can the public health agencies of a state dispense antibiotics to everyone in a large metropolitan area within forty-eight hours of potential exposure? A key challenge to a successful mass prophylaxis campaign is staffing the functions required to receive, stage, transport, deliver, and dispense antibiotics. Is there value in developing relationships with large corporations within the metropolitan area to support their active involvement as reliable, effective, and efficient volunteer entities for dispensing pharmaceuticals following a terrorist incident or natural disaster? This thesis evaluates the novel approach of inviting corporations to act as volunteer entities in and of themselves (rather than merely offering their facilities for use to support a government activity) as well as more traditional options such as utilizing the current public health force (supported by traditional volunteer recruitment) and using the United States Postal Service to directly deliver medication to households. A fourth option, combining the first three options to meet the requirements of timely delivery, security, medical personnel support, nonmedical personnel support, and client information collection is also considered.
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