The CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS) controls and maintains a repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, vaccines, antiviral drugs and other life-saving medical materiel. The DSNS mission is to deliver these critical medical assets to the scene of a national emergency. During a public health emergency, state and local public health systems may be overwhelmed. The SNS materiel is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies in the event of an emergency within the United States or its territories.
The SNS materiel is organized for flexible response:
If the threat posed by a public health emergency is unknown, the first line of support lies with the Push Packages – so called because they can be delivered anywhere in the United States and/or its territories within hours of the federal decision to deploy. The Push Packages are 50-ton caches of pharmaceuticals, antidotes and medical supplies designed for rapid deployment. Each push package is stocked with a broad spectrum of materiel to combat any number of public health threats.
If the nature of the public health emergency is known, CDC officials can send Managed Inventory (MI) to combat the threat. MI is maintained at facilities throughout the United States by either CDC or contract vendors. MI is also used to re-supply deployed Push Packages. MI can be expected to arrive within 24 hours of a federal deployment decision.
During an emergency, a state determines if there is a need for SNS assets and requests federal assistance. Discussions between state and federal organizations are initiated and a decision is made at the federal level to deploy assets. DSNS works with federal, state, and local health officials to determine what assets are needed. The material is shipped to the state and each state’s Strategic National Stockpile Program will distribute to local partners.
Additionally there are nerve agent antidotes and medicines for use in radiation events that have been forward deployed in each state. These materials are managed and maintained through active partnerships with Federal, State, and local entities.
The West Virginia Strategic National Stockpile Program continues to plan, develop, and implement processes at all levels of government to improve West Virginia’s ability to respond and protect its citizens and guests during these types of events.
Elizabeth J. Scharman, Pharm.D., DABAT, BCPS, FAACT
Deputy, SNS Coordinator