The nation's pharmacists respondedto the Hurricane Katrina disaster byjoining with thousands of other healthcare professionals to provide volunteerrelief services to victims of the storm.National, state, and local pharmacistorganizations helped to coordinate therelief effort by directing practitionersto areas across the Gulf Coast in needof pharmaceutical care services.
To facilitate volunteer work by pharmacists,the National Association ofBoards of Pharmacy (NABP) establishedan emergency pharmacist verificationprocess to expedite licensure transferfor out-of-state pharmacists participatingin the relief process. In the aftermathof the storm, surrounding statesin the affected areas allowed pharmaciststo dispense medications to patientsin certain zip code areas, if thepharmacists determined the requests tobe legitimate, a representative from theNABP said. All told, the Department ofHealth and Human Services reportedthat more than 33,000 pharmacists,physicians, nurses, and other professionalrelief workers had volunteered toprovide aid to the affected areas.
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.