What are Medical Countermeasures?
According to the FDA, Medical Countermeasures, or MCM are FDA-regulated products (biologics, drugs, devices) that may be used in the event of a potential public health emergency stemming from a terrorist attack with a biological, chemical, or radiological/nuclear material, or a naturally occurring emerging disease.

What is a public health emergency?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a public health emergency is “an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition, caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or (a) novel and highly fatal infectious agent or biological toxin, that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human facilities or incidents or permanent or long-term disability (WHO/DCD, 2001). The declaration of a state of public health emergency permits the governor to suspend state regulations, change the functions of state agencies.”

How will MCMs be distributed during a public health emergency?
In an emergency that causes supplies to run out, MCMs may be provided by the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), which is overseen by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), or through state and local stockpiles or other pharmaceutical caches. The SNS is the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. The SNS can rapidly deploy its medical assets that can protect citizens from bacterial and viral diseases, pandemic influenza, radiation and nuclear emergencies, chemical attacks and natural disasters. The stockpile provides for every American and can respond to multiple large-scale emergencies at the same time.

In Georgia, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead state agency in planning to receive, stage, and distribute the Strategic National Stockpile if it is ever needed anywhere in Georgia. DPH works with many other state agencies in SNS planning.

The medicines in the Strategic National Stockpile are free to everyone. If it becomes necessary to dispense medications in the District 4 Health region, you will be informed of this through local TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

Each county must be prepared to provide life-saving medication to the entire population within 48-hours of a confirmed incident or attack. District 4 Public Health is working with the county health departments and other partner agencies to develop mass dispensing plans for each of the 12 counties in the public health district. In each county, it is essential that emergency management, law enforcement, health care agencies, and other community agencies be involved in this planning. For more information on mass dispensing planning in your county, contact your local county health department.

How will medications be distributed?
Point of Distribution Sites will be the main mechanism for the distribution of medicine and medical supplies to healthy people in the area of risk during a large-scale public health emergency. An OPEN Point of Distribution (POD) site is a location operated by a local public health department that is open to everyone who lives or works in that community. Open POD sites are meant to serve the entire public. A CLOSED Point of Distribution (POD) site is a location that is operated by a private organization for a specific target group and their families and clients. Closed POD sites are not open to the public.

For more information:
http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/stockpile.htm
http://www.naccho.org/topics/emergency/SNS/index.cfm
https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/about-mcmi/what-are-medical-countermeasures

Protect yourself and your employees, register your business as a CLOSED Distribution site TODAY