WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 17, 2007) -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) joined with other healthcare organizations involved in the manufacturing, distribution and dispensing of biologics and pharmaceutical products to create Rx Response – a program designed to support the continued delivery of medicines during a severe public health emergency. Rx Response was officially launched this week at events in New Orleans, LA and Miami, FL as those areas prepare for hurricane season.
“As leaders in the production of existing therapies and the development of new treatments for patients living with a range of debilitating and rare diseases, biotechnology companies are proud to participate in Rx Response,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO. “This program, in tandem with government efforts, will be extremely valuable in a severe public health emergency to improve access for patients to life-saving biotech medicines.”
Rx Response will help support information sharing among partners, community volunteer relief organizations and local, state and federal agencies responding to major disasters by helping to support the continued delivery of critical medicines and, when possible, addressing challenges. Previously, there has been no single forum for suppliers to convene and share information when the pharmaceutical supply chain was disrupted.
The program will be activated in cases of severe domestic public health emergencies – when existing emergency relief plans and service programs are disrupted – to help assist partner organizations in their individual response activities. For example, a disaster declared by a U.S. Governor or the President of the United States may initiate Rx Response program engagement. Other situations warranting initiation, as determined by Rx Response, may also activate the program. While public health emergencies will be determined on a case-by-case basis, there are a number of existing mechanisms that will be used to help guide decision-making:
· Disaster declaration by a U.S. Governor or the U.S. President
· American Red Cross Level V+ Event
· Department of Homeland Security Severe Classification
· World Health Organization Phase IV+ Event
· Health and Human Services Stage 2+ Event
· Other situations warranting a response as determined by the respective decision-making bodies within the represented industry groups
Rx Response recognizes the important role patients play in emergency preparedness. The consumer website, www.RxResponse.com, offers visitors the opportunity to print a convenient wallet card – in English or Spanish – on which they can document a personal list of medications and other relevant medical information in case of emergency. The site also contains information on other aspects of emergency preparedness.
The others partners in Rx Response include the American Hospital Association, American Red Cross, Healthcare Distribution Management Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The partners are working with the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, as well as state emergency management agencies.
For more information, please visit www.RxResponse.com.
BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the annual BIO International Convention, the global event for biotechnology. www.bio.org
Upcoming BIO Events
· BIO Mid-America VentureForum 2007
Sep. 24–26, 2007
· BIO InvestorForum 2007
October 9-11, 2007
San Francisco, CA
· Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
November 14-16, 2007
· BIO International Convention
June 17–20, 2008
San Diego, CA