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3/5/1999

ASHP Response to Year 2000 Concerns

Recent congressional hearings and heightened media attention to Y2K issues are raising public concern over potential disruptions in the nation's supply of medications. ASHP has conferred with the National Wholesale Druggists' Association, several large wholesaler companies, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and other pharmacy organizations regarding the readiness of the pharmaceutical industry to continue operations at the start of the year 2000. ASHP has been assured that the industry will be Y2K compliant and that a diminished supply of medications or significant delays in distribution due to Y2K computer glitches are unlikely.

An overreaction to fears of potential shortages, however, could lead to stockpiling, creating artificially induced shortages and disruptions in distribution. ASHP believes that all health care providers and organizations (e.g., hospitals and health systems), and consumers should refrain from stockpiling. Hospital and health-system pharmacy directors and pharmacists in group purchasing organizations have a special responsibility in this regard to protect the public interest. Health-system pharmacy directors should continue participating in their own organizations' Y2K preparedness activities, including contingency planning. ASHP will continue to monitor Y2K issues and will periodically post updated information on its Web Site at www.ashp.org. 

Year 2000 Resources on the Internet

The following organizations offer information and guidance on preparing for the year 2000: 

American Hospital Association
Year 2000 Resource Center
http://www.aha.org/y2k/default.html 

American Medical Association
Preparing for the Year 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/not-mo/y2k/index.htm 

Food and Drug Administration
Year 2000 Impact on Biomedical Equipment
http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/yr2000/year2000.html 

National Wholesale Druggists’ Association
Year 2000: Resources & Solutions
http://www.nwda.org/year2000/year2000.htm 

Rx2000 Solutions Institute
Healthcare's Year 2000 Information Clearinghouse
http://www.rx2000.org/