Date: 30 March 2021
Close collaboration between members of the National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) and emergency services has seen essential medicines and pharmacy supplies delivered to towns and cities inundated by floods.
Disaster management plans were put into operation across NPSA’s NSW and south-east Queensland network to overcome obstacles hampering deliveries, including flood waters, landslides, road and bridge closures, and heavy traffic.
One example was an operation co-ordinated by NPSA member companies which saw medicine orders driven to boat ramps, collected by SES rescue boat crews, and delivered into North Richmond, Pitt Town and Wilberforce in NSW.
An order for a community pharmacy in Kempsey and medicines destined for Port Macquarie Base Hospital were delivered after special arrangements were secured. In the Hunter region, crews also responded rapidly to deliver to Patterson, Dungog and Vacy pharmacies ahead of road closures.
NPSA Chair Richard Vincent said: “Our decades of experience on the ground, long-standing local relationships and disaster management plans mean we are able to meet some very difficult challenges caused by the current flood crisis.
“Our employees are thinking creatively and working overtime to co-ordinate stock movement, while our logistics network and communications systems are proving reliable.
“Some pharmacies have been left without power or direct access, so we are working with those sites directly to stage cold chain deliveries to ensure their stock is safe and secure. We expect continued normal supply and distribution of the flu vaccine.
“Our thoughts are with the communities affected by the floods.”
NPSA is the peak body representing the full-line pharmaceutical wholesalers in Australia, including Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API), NPD (National Pharmacies), Sigma Healthcare and Symbion.
Contact: The Guild