Letter: Mobile pharmacies aren’t enough

Regarding “Mobile pharmacies to help in emergencies”: These trailers are a nice start, but a coordinated emergency pharmacy response system is sadly needed if we are to be better prepared for future disasters such as Katrina-Rita-Wilma, a severe acute respiratory syndrome or H5N1 influenza pandemic, or radiological or — heaven forbid — nuclear disaster.

The Katrina emergency pharmacy response was an adhocracy, an afterthought when FEMA wrote the contract for mass housing. I managed logistics for this program, and many, many people were helped and heroic mom-and-pop pharmacies stepped up to the plate nobly, along with large chains like Walgreens and CVS.

Many lives were saved, but who knows how many were lost or how much suffering could have been alleviated if we had in place a more thorough, fully funded, emergency pharmacy response plan?

Paul Mazzuca
Disaster volunteer


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