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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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RAND Offers Standards for Drug Distribution Plans

A major U.S. think tank last week recommended a set of standards for communities preparing plans to distribute antibiotics in the aftermath of a bioterrorist attack (see GSN, Sept. 25, 2007).

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department contracted the RAND Corp. to produce the 133-page report to identify standards for creating “points of dispensing” in U.S. cities. The report addresses strategies for determining how many “PODs” are required in each area, as well as how to staff, manage and secure them.

The goal of the PODs is to distribute drugs to potential victims within 48 hours of an attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be responsible for delivering the proper antibiotics to the sites within 24 hours.

The report notes that U.S. legislation requires the standards to be “evidence based,” but points out “that there is little experience on which to develop standards.” Therefore, RAND researchers spoke with practitioners, consulted an expert panel and conducted mathematical modeling to craft the standards.

Above all, the report says “the standards are intended to provide minimal requirements and should not discourage [cities] from exceeding them” (RAND Corp. release, Oct. 10).

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GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

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