Dispensing Medical Countermeasures for Public Health Emergencies: Workshop Summary

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On March 3-4, 2008, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events hosted a workshop titled "Medical Countermeasures Dispensing." The overall objective was to discuss a range of solutions to rapidly provide medical countermeasures to protect large numbers of people prior to or during a public health emergency, such as a bioterrorist attack or infectious disease outbreak. The United States is currently unprepared to confront the range of threats it is facing, such as an intentional anthrax release, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), or pandemic influenza, and it must plan aggressively to counteract the threat of these and other future public health emergencies.

Countermeasure dispensing must harness all types of imaginative partnerships between public and private institutions, working together in ways tailored to meet individual community needs. This workshop summary highlights the presentations and subsequent discussion that occurred at the workshop.

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