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Press Release

ASHP Publishes Emergency Preparedness Resource

Pharmacy departments looking for help devising an emergency preparedness plan to deal with a chemical and/or biological threat can now turn to a new reference, Biological and Chemical Terrorism: A Pharmacy Preparedness Guide, published recently by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).  The reference describes how to develop preparedness programs and recommends resources that describe staff responsibilities in response to chemical and biological threats.  The project was developed through an unrestricted educational grant from AstraZeneca, Inc.  The grant also supported complimentary distribution of the book to 6500 directors of pharmacy.


Hospital and health-system pharmacists, in particular, will be called upon to ensure that appropriate medications are available and coordinate the institutions’ efforts with local public health agency officials and health care workers at other area hospitals.

Featuring a comprehensive review of the agents most likely to be used in a biological or chemical attack, this new resource provides emergency planners with a starting point for their readiness efforts.  The book also includes a brief history of biological and chemical terrorism and an extensive list of resources to help pharmacists develop a preparedness plan.  


“Our nation’s hospitals and health systems must be poised to treat victims of terrorism,” said ASHP President Debra S. Devereaux, M.B.A., FASHP.  “It is critical that we provide our members with the tools they will need to take a leadership role in the emergency preparedness activities at their practice sites.” 


“We are pleased to have participated in this worthwhile project that provides valuable information to health system pharmacists.  This manual will help pharmacists better prepare themselves and their health systems in the event of chemical or biological terrorism.” said Harvey E. Maldow, R.Ph. M.S., director of pharmacy affairs at AstraZeneca Inc.


Additional copies of the book may be purchased by contacting ASHP’s customer service department at (301) 657-4383 or by visiting the ASHP web site.  


AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of ethical (prescription) pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services.  It is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world with healthcare sales of over $16.4 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, oncology, anesthesia (including pain management), cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory products.  In the United States, AstraZeneca is an $8.7 billion healthcare business with more than 10,000 employees.  For more information about AstraZeneca please visit


ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines.  Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective.  The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.  For more information, visit ASHP’s Web site,