Pharmacists Play Critical Role After Natural Disasters

While extensive preparation for hurricanes and other natural disasters is generally the most effective plan, sometimes patients are unable to do so. In these instances, patient health and wellness can be threatened, especially for those who lose access to necessary prescription drugs.
 
As thousands of Americans face uncertainty about the path forward after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the FDA reminds patients that their pharmacists are a crucial component in their journey, specifically concerning their health.
 
Prescription drugs can be altered after exposure to extreme temperatures due to a natural disaster that results in power loss, such as the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, TX. Prescription drugs may also be contaminated through flood water or if a pipe bursts.
 
Despite the dangerous events facing patients and their medications, pharmacists are significantly important in helping patients who have lived through a natural disaster, according to a Drug Info Rounds video from the FDA.
 
Pharmacists can assist patients in examining drugs for damage and discard the treatment if necessary.
 
In circumstances where the containers of life-saving medications have been exposed to floodwater and other treatments are not available, pharmacists can determine if the drug should be used, as long as the contents appear to be unaffected, according to the FDA.
 
The FDA warns that once replacement drugs are available, potentially contaminated drugs should be disposed of and patients should begin treatment with non-contaminated drugs.
 
For medications that must be reconstituted, pharmacists should advise patients to only use bottled water if clean water is otherwise unavailable, pharmacist Henry Yu said in the video.
 
Additionally, if the power has been out for an extended amount of time, refrigerated products should be disposed of; however, only under certain circumstances—such as for life-sustaining drugs like insulin—should an unrefrigerated drug be used until new doses are available, according to the video.
 
Since temperature-sensitive drugs may lose potency if unrefrigerated, they should be replaced immediately, the FDA reports.
 
For more on the importance of the work performed by pharmacists during natural disasters click below:
 
Hurricane Harvey Shows Why Specialty Pharmacies Matter During Natural Disasters
 
Pharmacists in Texas Provide Calm Amidst the Storm of Hurricane Harvey
 
How Pharmacists Can Help Patients Plan for Natural Disasters



Stay up to date on the latest news in specialty pharmacy by getting Specialty Pharmacy Times in your mailbox or inbox for free!

Click here to sign up for free for the bi-monthly Specialty Pharmacy Times print journal delivered to your address.

Click here to sign up for our email newsletters delivered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, in addition to breaking news alerts.

Click here to follow us on Facebook. 

Click here to follow us on Twitter. 

Click here to join our LinkedIn group. 


Most Popular

Related Articles

In this video, Gordon Vanscoy, PharmD, MBA, CEO of PANTHERx, describes the methods of patient support used by PantheRx throughout treatment to provide optimal care.
Dallas-based Senderra Rx achieves perfect net promoter score.
Top news of the week from Specialty Pharmacy Times.
Company Profile >
Contributors >
Industry Guide >
Market News >
Peer Exchange >
Conferences >
Subscribe >
Specialty Times Resources
About Us
Advertise
Careers
Contact Us
Terms & Conditions
Privacy
MJH Associates >
Pharmacy Times
OTCGuide
American Journal of Managed Care
Cure
MD Magazine
ONCLive
Targeted Oncology
Physicians' Education Resource
Pharmacy & Healthcare Communications, LLC
2 Clarke Drive
Suite 100
Cranbury, NJ 08512
P: 609-716-7777
F: 609-716-4747

Copyright Specialty Pharmacy Times 2006-2018
Pharmacy & Healthcare Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
 

$vacMongoViewPlus$