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State of Patient Care and Humanitarian Aid Amid the California Wild Fires
Date:10/24/2007

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Association of Chain Drug Stores:

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and community pharmacy join with our neighbors nationwide in sympathy, support, care and prayer for those affected by the tragic wild fires in California. We would like to provide information that might be helpful to those who are impacted by, or engaged with, this situation.

Most Pharmacies Open; ICERx Activated

We understand that most pharmacies are operational. Also, many NACDS member companies offer the capability for their patients to fill their prescriptions at any of the chain's locations. In addition, it is appropriate to mention the role of SureScripts, of which NACDS is a co-founder. SureScripts is a leader in the electronic exchange of prescription information between pharmacies and physicians. For chain pharmacies providing care to evacuees displaced by the fires in Southern California, SureScripts and the nation's pharmacies have activated access to Emergency Rx History. This will make it possible for pharmacies to obtain and fill some people's prescriptions through the use of a secure network, even when the prescription is at another pharmacy. For more information, go to http://www.ICERx.org or call 1-888.ICERX.50 (1-888-423-7950).

Of course, patients who find themselves unable to have their prescription filled at their pharmacy also may contact their doctors to obtain new prescriptions that may be filled at an open pharmacy.

NACDS would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that it always is a good idea to maintain a record of one's prescriptions, including the medications and dosages. The "Be Prepared" section of the http://www.RxResponse.org web site includes a feature that allows patients to customize and create a convenient card that lists this information.

RxResponse Alert, but Activation Not Currently Necessary

NACDS participates in RxResponse, a collaborative effort designed to help support the continued delivery of medicines during a severe public health emergency. Please see http://www.RxResponse.org to view a public statement on behalf of RxResponse, and for more information. In summary, with the pharmaceutical supply chain operating without disruption and most pharmacies able to serve their patients, RxResponse will not be formally activated at this time, but will continue to remain on alert to assess the situation and respond as needed. This is good news, in terms of the current state of prescription medication availability, as well as the fact that RxResponse is demonstrating its ability to facilitate communications and quickly assess situations.

Commending Humanitarian Efforts

NACDS would like to pay tribute to the firefighters and rescue workers, and to all those aiding the individuals who have been evacuated. From those who risk their own wellbeing to fight the fires, to neighbors helping neighbors, this time of need is bringing out the best in so many true heroes.

NACDS also would like to recognize and commend the response of its member companies. Their response includes continuing pharmacy operations, but also the contributions of financial resources, products and services to the people in the evacuated areas. Their humanitarian efforts are consistent with their day-to-day commitment to patient and customer care, as well as with their swift and vital responses to prior tragedies, including Hurricane Katrina.


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SOURCE National Association of Chain Drug Stores
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