While the UK has stockpiled antivirals for the treatment of influenza, they (according to this Times’ report) don’t have a deep, multi-faceted, national strategic drug stockpile.
The NHS is now accepting bids from generic drug manufacturers to assure a supply of those drugs that would be needed, for pandemic and non-pandemic uses, should supply chain interruptions occur.
The US has a strategic stockpile with antivirals, antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies, along with medical and surgical items.
The realization appears to be hitting home that concerns over supply chain interruptions, due to a pandemic or other disaster, are something well worth preparing for.
NHS prepares for pandemic with stockpile of medicines
Drug manufacturers and wholesalers have the chance win business worth tens of millions of pounds as the National Health Service prepares to create a huge stockpile of essential medicines in readiness for a flu pandemic.
The Department of Health has invited companies to tender for contracts to procure and manage more than two billion doses of about 450 essential medicines, such as penicillin, morphine, diazepam and insulin, in case a pandemic shut down the manufacturing and distribution network.
Some of the planned orders, such as those for 465 million aspirin tablets and 770 million paracetamol tablets, are related to the feared pandemic, since their consumption rises in line with the number of people with flu.Other medicines, such as glucose drips and warfarin blood-thinning drugs, are not related to flu but are essential for a hospital to function normally and for unnecessary deaths to be prevented.