Antiviral Distribution Assessment and Optimization Project: A Review of Legal and Policy Issues
Part of a collaboration with ASTHO, NACCHO, and CDC assessing antiviral distribution strategies, this report examines legal and policy issues regarding existing approaches and potential alternative processes for distributing and dispensing antiviral medications during a pandemic. A stakeholders meeting for the larger project was held May 8, 2012.
The report explores strategies used in response to the 2009/2010 H1N1 pandemic, as well as potential alternatives via partnership with private actors such as pharmacies, pharmacists, and wholesale drug distributors for distribution, dispensing, and tracking of antivirals. Such alternatives seek to improve access to antivirals from CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile during an emergency while simultaneously reducing burden on state and local health officials by leveraging existing pharmaceutical distribution infrastructure.
The report identifies potential legal obstacles to existing and proposed national strategies, including: advance planning and interjurisdictional coordination, federal and state regulation of drug distributors, the changing legal environment during declared emergencies, cross-jurisdictional distribution and dispensing, meeting surge capacity, potential liability and protections, and privacy implications of antiviral tracking.
The report also provides potential solutions to these challenges based on interpretations of law and practice and lessons learned from prior emergencies.