Healthcare groups launch disaster response program

WASHINGTON: A new initiative could change the manner in which healthcare organizations involved in the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products communicate with one another in the wake of a major public health emergency.

WASHINGTON: A new initiative could change the manner in which healthcare organizations involved in the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products communicate with one another in the wake of a major public health emergency.

Partners on the communications effort, called Rx Response, include the American Hospital Association, American Red Cross, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). They announced the program on August 15.

Rx Response involves two components: coordinating communications between partners during a disaster and coordinating education outreach to the general public on how to prepare for a disaster through www.rxresponse.org. While the program is coordinated closely with the government, it is strictly a private-sector effort.

"During Katrina, the system [of getting pharmaceuticals to the needy] worked, but it was amazing it did," said M.J. Fingland, senior director of public affairs and communications, PhRMA. "There had to be one information point everyone could go to during a disaster."

Fleishman-Hillard is handling communications strategy, including national media outreach and messaging, for PhRMA. The Brylski Co. and Moore Consulting Group is handling outreach in New Orleans and Miami, respectively. Adfero Group worked on the Web site.

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