BIOTERROR ROLE SEEN FOR COMBO STORES

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Supermarket pharmacists are in a unique position to respond effectively in bioterror emergencies, according to presenters at a bioterror emergency preparation-and-response educational session here during FMI's Supermarket Pharmacy Conference.Supermarket pharmacies' convenience to the public and their ability to hold large amounts of people for mass counseling in their parking lots

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Supermarket pharmacists are in a unique position to respond effectively in bioterror emergencies, according to presenters at a bioterror emergency preparation-and-response educational session here during FMI's Supermarket Pharmacy Conference.

Supermarket pharmacies' convenience to the public and their ability to hold large amounts of people for mass counseling in their parking lots make them appropriate response sites in the event of bioterror attacks, according to Mitch Rothholz, vice president, professional practice, American Pharmaceutical Association, Washington.

The presenters said retailers must decide how involved they want to be in an event of an attack, and follow the appropriate course of action in preparing and educating staff on dispensing, work schedules and security.

"We can't wait until an emergency happens and step up to the plate," said Rothholz. Roberta Armstrong, director of pharmacy, Felpausch Hometown Pharmacies, Albion, Mich., said the session was "absolutely fascinating.

"It's good to know we can get involved on so many levels," she said.