Statement of Task
In response to a request from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events will organize and convene a series of public engagement activities. These activities will explore the public's perception of the safety, feasibility, and acceptability of potential alternative strategies for distribution and dispensing of antiviral medications to the public during an influenza pandemic. Participants will consider the need for, acceptability of, and advantages and disadvantages of
• receiving a prescription over the phone for antivirals from a medical professional other than a patient’s usual provider;
• receiving antivirals or other medical countermeasures (MCMs) from a licensed pharmacist;
• obtaining antivirals from a pharmacy during a severe pandemic; and
• increased partnerships among state and local governments, the private sector, and other entities to dispense antivirals or other MCMs.
A single individually authored summary of the public engagement activities will be prepared based on the information gathered and the discussions held.
Tennessee (TN), and Los Angeles, California (CA)—during February and March 2012 to consider the acceptability of several alternative strategies of delivering antiviral medication to the public during a pandemic. These discussions will help to inform potential strategies still in the development stages at the CDC. The public was asked to consider, if an influenza pandemic were to strike, how the normal systems for prescribing and dispensing antiviral medications could be adjusted to ensure that the public has quick, safe, and equitable access to these potentially lifesaving drugs and to information about the pandemic and treatment options.