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Pharmacists to Focus on Counter-Terrorism Response

By Jill Holder


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UK and U of L faculty will join other pharmacists from around the nation to discuss counter-terrorism responses to potential threats at the 2002 National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the American Association of College of Pharmacy District III Annual Meeting Aug. 4-6 in Louisville.

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Aug. 2, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy faculty members, along with University of Louisville Hospital and other Kentucky hospitals, are joining the fight against terrorism.

UK and U of L faculty will join other pharmacists from around the nation to discuss counter-terrorism responses to potential threats at the 2002 National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the American Association of College of Pharmacy District III Annual Meeting Aug. 4-6 in Louisville. UK College of Pharmacy and the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy will sponsor the three-day program.

“We will bring issues to the board and discuss command units and what pharmacists would do in certain scenarios,” John Armitstead, director of pharmacy services at UK Hospital and assistant dean for Medical Center pharmacy services at the College of Pharmacy. 

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, and anthrax exposures have prompted the health care community to evaluate emergency procedu res.

“In the event of mass exposures or injuries, pharmacists would have to distribute large quantities of vaccines, antidotes and other medication, as well as care for casualties,” Armitstead said.

Additionally, a large number of people may not be able to travel to a hospital or other health care facility.  Pharmacists would be active in the mass distribution of medicine.  The nation’s pharmacists would have to make sure they had the equipment necessary to offset the effects of nerve agents, biological pathogens and chemical agents.

Pharmacists would work with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Pharmaceutical Stockpile Program to secure large quantities of medicinal supplies and quickly distribute them to the public.

“We are involved in implementing plausible counter-terrorism plans for incidence and response,” Armitstead said.  Armitstead will discuss emergency pharmacy response plan development at the meeting.


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