Rx Response kicked into highest alert level as Hurricane Isaac made landfall

WASHINGTON — Rx Response, an initiative of America's biopharmaceutical supply system to help ensure the continued flow of medicine to patients in a severe public health emergency, moved to its highest alert status last week as Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast.

In addition to elevating to Engaged status, Rx Response has activated an enhanced version of its Pharmacy Status Reporting Tool. The PSRT is an online program that allows emergency managers and the public to readily locate open pharmacies in communities that have been impacted by severe weather or other events. The tool was first developed by Rx Response in 2009, and the enhanced version reflects improvements made through a collaborative relationship between Walgreens and Rx Response.

Walgreens recently became the first U.S. pharmacy chain to provide status reports on its pharmacies directly to Rx Response. Previously, the PSRT only monitored electronic billing transmissions from pharmacies to insurance processing companies. When a pharmacy is transmitting electronic billing data, it is presumed open and Rx Response posts the pharmacy's location on the PSRT’s interactive map on the www.RxResponse.org website. The direct reporting of information about the status of Walgreens pharmacies to Rx Response will enhance the timeliness of the information available to the public and emergency managers.

Rx Response is a single point of contact for the entire biopharmaceutical supply system and relies on a robust network that allows federal and state emergency management officials to communicate with Rx Response regarding pharmaceutical needs and other issues which may impact the supply system. The communications are actively monitored by all segments of the pharmaceutical supply system to ensure the fastest possible resolution.