Global & Disaster Medicine

History of the Strategic National Stockpile

HHS

The National Pharmaceutical Stockpile was created in 1999 to ensure the nation’s readiness against potential agents of bioterrorism like botulism, anthrax, smallpox, plague, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and tularemia. The mission was to assemble large quantities of essential medical supplies that could be delivered to states and communities during an emergency within 12 hours of the federal decision to use the stockpile.

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted federal legislation and directives to strengthen public health emergency readiness. In 2003, the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile was renamed Strategic National Stockpile.

Today, the Strategic National Stockpile works with governmental and nongovernmental partners to upgrade the ability to respond to a national public health emergency, ensuring that federal, state, and local agencies are ready to receive, and stage and distribute products.

Since its beginning, the stockpile has responded to multiple large-scale emergencies including floods, hurricanes, and influenza pandemics. It has also supported various small-scale deployments for the treatment of individuals with life-threatening infectious diseases like anthrax, smallpox, and botulism.

Timeline of CDC stockpile responses. Contents of this graphic are described in the text below.


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