Indexed on: 20 Jun '08Published on: 20 Jun '08Published in: Biosecurity and bioterrorism : biodefense strategy, practice, and science
An influenza pandemic would place an unprecedented strain on the nation's healthcare system-a compelling reason to carefully plan how priorities would be set for distributing antiviral medications. While antiviral medications have been added to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), these supplies are not designated as frontline resources and remain far from sufficient to provide mass prophylaxis for the entire population of the country. In the healthcare setting, providing general chemoprophylaxis may not be feasible because of high costs or inadequate supply. We propose a hospital-based strategy for setting priorities for antiviral prophylaxis that may offer a rational starting point for discussion and guide allocation decisions in the event of a shortage during a pandemic influenza outbreak.