Implementation of Antiviral Medication Strategies for an Influenza Pandemic

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Diseases, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Public Health
Board: Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice

Activity Description

An IOM committee planned and convened a workshop of State and local pandemic influenza planners, as well as national and relevant international influenza experts, to consider best practices and policies for implementing a pandemic influenza antiviral drug program.

Components of the program that were addressed include treatment of cases, post-exposure prophylaxis for their household contacts, and prophylaxis of "front-line" healthcare workers and emergency service personnel.
With respect to treatment of cases and post-exposure of their household contacts, key planning issues included but were not limited to determining where drugs dispensed; allocation and distribution of drugs to those sites; diagnostic approach for cases; strategy to enumerate household contacts and assess appropriateness of dispensing drugs for them; potential regulatory barriers to dispensing; and monitoring antiviral drug use and safety. With respect to prophylaxis for targeted healthcare and emergency services personnel, key issues included but were not limited to determining where drugs are dispensed; potential regulatory barriers to dispensing; labor issues that may arise from targeting some workers but not others; and monitoring antiviral drug use and safety.

The committee reviewed current State plans, lessons learned from drills and exercises, and explored the challenges and barriers to rapid and efficient distribution of the drugs for treatment and prophylaxis in the general population and in targeted occupationally defined groups.

The committee issued a brief report with conclusions and recommendations regarding components of an effective antiviral program for patients and their household contacts and for prophylaxis of healthcare and emergency service personnel.

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