The Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Workgroup held their monthly meeting on Feb. 10. Brooke Courtney from the Food and Drug Administration fielded questions from the workgroup members about the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) MCM Frequently Asked Questions document. Steve Adams from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided an overview on the Shelf Life Extension Program. CDC recognized the potential communication challenge of carrying out a response in which individuals would receive MCMs that would appear to be expired. CDC has begun to address these potential communication issues, and will work to integrate this into training.
The MCM Workgroup also discussed the re-examination of the ChemPack program. An ad hoc workgroup has been formed to discuss recommendations. The MCM Workgroup discussed the new Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act, which makes sure homeland security grant dollars are available for medical preparedness activities, including the purchase of vital medical equipment and supplies used by first responders. Workgroup members noted that while it aims to help clarify the role of emergency medical response in national preparedness and response efforts, it may be duplicative of what is being asked of health departments. There were also concerns about this legislation and its overlap with PAHPRA policies. NACCHO also sought feedback from the group on developing a fact sheet for public health capabilities 8 and 9. Lastly, applications for the 2014-2015 appointments for NACCHO’s advisory groups will begin on March 1.