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Help Patients Affected by Hurricane Harvey
Posted: September 1, 2017
In the aftermath of the natural disaster that has devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana, CSRO is concerned for patients that have been displaced and had their treatments and medical services interrupted. Whether you and your loved ones have been directly affected by Harvey or not, there are actions you can take to help ensure Texas and Louisiana patients don’t suffer negative health outcomes.
Below you will find a list of resources available to utilize on behalf of those affected by the disaster.
The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP)
Reach out to the Governors of Texas and Louisiana, and ask that they request the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to activate its Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP). This would allow eligible patients to receive their necessary prescriptions and medical equipment at no cost, from participating pharmacies.
Learn More About EPAP
The U.S. Pain Foundation has created an online form to facilitate contact with the Governors of Texas and Louisiana.
Fill Out a Contact Form
Safe Use of Prescriptions in the Event of Disaster
The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA offers recommendations on the use of drugs that have been exposed to environmental stressors such as floodwaters:
Drugs Exposed to Unsafe Water
Drugs exposed to flood or unsafe municipal water may become contaminated. This contamination may lead to serious health effects.
The FDA recommends that drugs — even those in their original containers with screw-top caps, snap lids, or droppers — should be safely discarded if they came into contact with flood or contaminated water. In addition, medicines placed in different storage containers than their original containers should be discarded if the medicines came in contact with flood or contaminated water.
Lifesaving Drugs Exposed to Heat or Unsafe Water
A drug may be needed to treat a life-threatening condition, but a replacement may not be readily available. Drugs exposed to fire or unsafe water should be replaced as soon as possible. If the drug looks unchanged — for example, pills in a wet container appear dry — the drugs can be used until a replacement is available. If the pills are wet, then they are contaminated and need to be safely discarded.
Please take the time to read the FDA’s full list of recommendations for conditions, such as interruptions in refrigeration.
- The National Infusion Center Association has created this locator tool for patients to receive updates from their centers.
- The Department of Energy releases frequent Hurricane Harvey situation reports.
- The Texas Department of Public Safety also has situation reports.
- HHS has declared a public health emergency and the CMS 1135 waiver program is available. Certain requirements for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP are modified to ensure that needs are met and that providers and suppliers acting in good faith are reimbursed. More details can be found here.
- Heathcare Ready has created an interactive map that displays the operational capacity of pharmacies within affected communities.
- Healthcare Ready also has a list of patient resources on their website.
- Help send supplies to children with complex medical needs affected by Hurricane Harvey.
- Help diabetics affected by Harvey by donating medical supplies (insulin, glucometers, strips).