Leavitt: Successor should continue pandemic flu preparations

Share this article:
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt in a speech Wednesday said continued preparation for a global flu pandemic should be a priority of his successor.

A combined effort between federal, state and local governments will be critical in the event of a pandemic. That is why the next person to head HHS should continue preparations, even in the face of restricted state budgets and an economic downturn, the secretary said. Building state and federal vaccine stockpiles and creating methods by which to distribute medicine are still challenges, he said.

Pandemic preparation was the topic of conversation at a round-table discussion after the secretary's speech, as well. Experts on infectious diseases highlighted ways in which a global flu pandemic could disrupt many supplies to the U.S. According to those experts, 19 vitally important drugs, such as insulin, are produced outside the United States. A global flu pandemic could cut off the supply chain, leading to more deaths due to lack of medicine than from flu itself.
Share this article:

More in News

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume ...

Long-term care bucked healthcare industry trends with strong merger and acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2014, according to newly released data from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Empowering nurse practitioners could reduce hospitalizations from SNFs, study finds

Granting more authority to nurse practitioners is associated with reduced hospitalization of skilled nursing facility residents, according to recently published findings.

Pioneer ACO drops out of program, despite reductions in skilled nursing utilization

A California healthcare system has become the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, despite reducing skilled nursing facility utilization and improving its readmission rates. Sharp HealthCare announced its decision in a quarterly financial statement released Tuesday.