12/1/2001

ASHP, AstraZeneca to Create Bioterrorism Preparedness Resource for Pharmacists

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has received an educational grant from AstraZeneca to create a guidance manual that will assist pharmacy directors and their staffs in the establishment and operation of bioterrorism preparedness programs. The grant will support development of a book tentatively titled Manual for Pharmacists on Bioterrorism, which will be released in Summer 2002.

Hospitals and health-systems are a critical setting where bioterrorism preparedness programs will be established and implemented. Pharmacists in these settings will need to play a pivotal role in emergency preparedness planning by ensuring the availability of appropriate medications and related equipment and coordinating the institutions’ efforts with personnel at other area hospitals and with local public health agencies. The Manual for Pharmacists on Bioterrorism will provide a readily available resource that describes development of preparedness programs and staff responsibilities in response to chemical and biological threats.

"We fully expect hospitals and health systems to be the next ‘ground zero’ in the event of bioterrorist attacks," said ASHP President Steven L. Sheaffer, Pharm.D., 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."

The manual will be developed with guidance from staff of national emergency preparedness agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Public Health Service.

"Given the tragedy of September 11 and the potential for further terrorist attacks, it is critical that our nation’s hospitals and pharmacy departments be adequately prepared for acts of bioterroism. AstraZeneca is pleased to provide support for this important project." said Harvey E. Maldow, R.Ph. M.S., Director of Pharmacy Affairs at AstraZeneca Inc.

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. For more information about AstraZeneca please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com

ASHP is the 31,000-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 delivery of pharmaceutical care, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs.


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