Federal Guidelines Released on Indications for Antiviral Drugs During a Pandemic

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The American Nurses Association (ANA) is pleased to announce that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued two documents to help provide guidance for the use of and stockpiling antiviral medications used to prevent or treat cases of a pandemic strain of influenza.

ANA has had an active role in the collaborative creation of these documents, as they have vital implications for how nurses will be protected during a biological disaster such as a pandemic.

The first document, Guidance on Antiviral Drug Use During a Pandemic, outlines the of use of antivirals during a pandemic, including an indication that high-risk health care workers, such as nurses and emergency responders, should have priority in receiving prophylactic treatment. (See link below to access the document on the PandemicFlu.gov web site.)

The second document, Considerations for Antiviral Drug Stockpiling by Employers During in Preparation for an Influenza Pandemic, is specific to employers in the private sector, and their roles in supplementing the federal and state governments' efforts in having antiviral medications on hand prior to a pandemic. (See link below to access the document on the PandemicFlu.gov web site.)

Read HHS Press Release - www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/12/20081216a.html