Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
The National Pharmaceutical Stockpile was created in 1999 to ensure the nation’s readiness against potential agents of bioterrorism like botulism, anthrax, smallpox, plague, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and tularemia. The mission was to assemble large quantities of essential medical supplies that could be delivered to states and communities during an emergency within 12 hours of the federal decision to use the stockpile.
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted federal legislation and directives to strengthen public health emergency readiness. In 2003, the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile was renamed Strategic National Stockpile.
Today, the Strategic National Stockpile works with governmental and nongovernmental partners to upgrade the ability to respond to a national public health emergency, ensuring that federal, state, and local agencies are ready to receive, and stage and distribute products.
Since its beginning, the stockpile has responded to multiple large-scale emergencies including floods, hurricanes, and influenza pandemics. It has also supported various small-scale deployments for the treatment of individuals with life-threatening infectious diseases like anthrax, smallpox, and botulism.
*Not shown above: Frequent, small-scale unique medical countermeasure responses for anthrax and smallpox and routine deployments of jointly rotated vaccine stocks to supply Department of Defense requirements.
Overall, $4.5 million in supplies were purchased and deployed on 26 flights carrying more than 347 tons of cargo to support public health needs in Puerto Rico and USVI.
In the midst of the Zika virus outbreak, the stockpile:
In response to requests from Louisiana and Mississippi related to Hurricane Katrina, the stockpile:
In response to Hurricane Rita, the stockpile sent medical supplies and Federal Medical Stations (totaling 2,000 beds) to assist in local response efforts. Beds were set up at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, as well as in Waco and Marlin, Texas.
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