When disaster strikes, medical care and medicine are urgently needed; yet disaster events can also impact patient access to the medicines they need. In 2006, PhRMA took a leading role in setting up Rx Response, a program dedicated to protecting patients’ continued access to medicines during times of crisis. Nine successful years later, we are proud to have helped ensure consumers’ continued access to medicines in more than 55 different disasters.
In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy slammed the northeastern coast of the United States, Rx Response, now Healthcare Ready, kept emergency responders informed on the status of the biopharmaceutical supply chain. Rx Response’s Rx Open tool was deployed in 11 states and the District of Columbia, helping victims and evacuees who needed to fill or re-fill their prescriptions find open pharmacies. Rx Response also helped emergency responders with critical information on the challenges facing supply chain partners relating to electricity, fuel and transportation issues. Additionally, PhRMA and its member companies matched employee donations toward relief efforts.
In 2015, Rx Response expanded its work in strengthening health care supply chains and forging effective private-public partnerships, and accordingly changed its name to Healthcare Ready. Healthcare Ready focuses not only on better coordination of the broader health care system and the public sector during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and disease pandemics, but also on educating officials, businesses and the public on building resiliency into daily activities so we are all stronger and communities are better protected.
As Healthcare Ready, we are taking on more policy projects at local, state and federal levels, but we remain on call to coordinate during disasters and to help keep the critical health care infrastructure running smoothly. We will also continue to provide the Rx Open map so consumers can see open pharmacies in disaster affected areas. Our focus remains solidly on where it matters: patient health and community resiliency.
Federal and state officials can now communicate directly with the biopharmaceutical supply chain through a single point of contact, making Healthcare Ready a vitally important homeland security asset. The program is recognized as a model for how private industry can collaborate to be better prepared for disaster and better able to respond.
The program continues to develop innovative ways for partners to share critical information directly and with the general public. Tools include:
- Rx Open.org: a Website where those in disaster affected areas can determine the closest open pharmacy
- Rx on the Run: a resource to create a personalized document of prescriptions and other important medical information
Healthcare Ready’s members and supporters include the following organizations:
- American Red Cross
- Biotechnology Industry Organization
- Generic Pharmaceutical Association
- Healthcare Distribution Management Association
- National Association of Chain Drug Stores
- H.D. Smith
- Smith Drug Company
- National Association of County & City Health Officials
Healthcare Ready and the biopharmaceutical research industry are committed to helping patients and communities access the care and medicine they need when disaster strikes. Learn more here.