Optimizing Distribution of Pandemic Influenza Antivirals
Mass distribution of antiviral medications is central to many national and international pandemic influenza response plans. These drugs are used both prophylactically, to prevent infection, and therapeutically, to lessen the severity and duration of illness. In the United States, large stockpiles of antivirals are maintained by both federal and state public health agencies in preparation for future pandemics. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, many states relied on commercial pharmacies to distribute stockpiled antivirals fairly and effectively to geographically and demographically diverse populations. Here, we present a data-driven method for optimizing pharmacy-based distributions of antiviral medications during future pandemics, in terms of overall access for the target population, and apply it to the state of Texas in the U.S. We compare the access achieved by the model solutions to that actually achieved by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. We find that, in general, the major national chains provide sufficient access in highly populated areas, while independent pharmacies are essential for reaching less populated areas. This model was developed jointly by scientists and public health officials, and is now available as a decision-support tool for Texas DSHS via a user-friendly web-based interface.
The journal Biomath Communications is an open access journal. All published articles are immeditely available online and the respective DOI link activated. All articles can be access for free and no reader registration of any sort is required. No fees are charged to authors for article submission or processing. Online publications are funded through volunteer work, donations and grants.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).