September 16, 2014
On June 19 HDMA staff and members participated in an emergency response exercise created by the Rx Response team. Rx Response is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports the continued flow of medicines in times of disaster; HDMA is a coordinating member of the organization.
Through the exercise, the Rx Response team created a fictitious pandemic coronavirus, called Sub-Continental Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SCARS) — modelled after Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) — and built a scenario, which compressed a six month pandemic event into a four-hour window so companies participating could test their internal response protocols and bring key private sector challenges to light. The event involved 22 companies and government agencies.
In the unfolding scenario, SCARS caused a pandemic for which no vaccine or antiviral treatment was available. Various "injects" crafted by the Rx Response team added challenges that mirrored real-world potential complications and allowed companies to test their emergency response or business continuity plans.
HealthCare Distributor magazine recently covered the exercise in its August/September issue.Download PDF
Rx Response was created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when members of the bio-pharmaceutical supply chain realized that a critical factor in preserving and protecting public health was ensuring continued access to essential medicines. In the years since, Rx Response has evolved into a highly sophisticated information-sharing and problem-solving entity that has become an indispensable homeland security asset.
Rx Response members span the entire private sector bio-pharmaceutical supply system and include manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers (pharmacies & hospitals), as well as disaster relief organizations. Rx Response’s operations are supported by state-of-the art technology, tested plans, and a team of personnel that is ready for response. Rx Response has provided emergency management and public health officials with unprecedented access to the bio-pharmaceutical supply chain, acting as a single point of contact that can share information about the status of the bio-pharmaceutical supply chain or help resolve obstacles to the flow of medicines.
Follow @RxResponse on Twitter for the latest Emergency Preparedness issues and events.
HDA is the national association representing primary healthcare distributors, the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare providers. Each business day, HDA member companies ensure that over 15 million prescription medicines and healthcare products are delivered safely and efficiently to more than 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. HDA and its members work daily to provide value and achieve cost savings, an estimated $42 billion each year to our nation’s healthcare system.