When natural disasters such as Hurricane Irene strike, obtaining food, water, and supplies tend to be at the top of at-risk residents’ minds. Having necessary medication—and enough of it—is also crucial. Even before Irene hit the US coast last week, PhRMA issued an alert to the public about documenting existing prescription medications with the RxResponse online medication card tool.
The tool captures the patient’s vital information and generates a wallet-size card that the patient can easily carry if evacuated. RxResponse also “helps ensure the continued flow of medicine in severe public health emergencies,” according the organization’s website. RxResponse does this by identifying in real time open pharmacies during emergency periods and keeping open the lines of communication between drug suppliers, drug distributors, and consumers through its Emergency Pharmacy Reporting Status Tool.
The tool , with support from the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs and pharmacy clearinghouses, maps pharmacies in disaster areas so that consumers can know which ones are closed and which are open. In response to Hurricane Irene, the tool is covering pharmacies located in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, as well as select counties in New York and Pennsylvania, based on Federal Disaster Declarations.
PhRMA, along with GPhA, BIO, the American Red Cross, the American Hospital Association, and others are partners of RxResponse, which was established after Hurricane eKatrina.