ASHP Identifies Consumer Views About Emergency Preparedness
August 8, 2003
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and ICHP as its
Illinois Affiliate work to help consumers make the best use of
medicines. One specific area of concern to ASHP is how consumers can
include medications important to their health in emergency
preparations. This research was conducted to investigate the public's
attitudes and behaviors related to emergency preparedness in general
and in developing emergency plans for medications in particular.
national omnibus phone survey of 1,014 randomly selected adults was
conducted April 4-8, 2003. The margin of error for the survey
statistics is plus or minus three percentage points. The key findings
of this survey are presented below.
- The majority of
respondents (80%) had not made any preparations for an emergency
situation such as a terrorist attack. Roughly one-fifth of the
respondents (19%) had made emergency preparations.
half (52%) of respondents did not have an emergency plan for
medications important to their or their family's health while a third
of respondents said they had made such preparations (34%).
a third of respondents (30%) said it would be "Extremely Serious" or
"Very Serious" if they or their immediate family members were without
medications important to their health for three to five days because of
- Over half of all respondents (60%) said it
was "Extremely Important" or "Very Important" to have an emergency plan
- About a third of the respondents (36%)
carried a list of medications important to their or their family's
health with them in something like a purse, briefcase or wallet while
nearly half (48%) did not.
- Older respondents more often said
they carry a list of medications than did younger respondents.
Specifically, 55% of those aged 65 years or older kept a list of
medications compared to 30% of those aged 18-34, 24% of those aged
35-44, 41% of those aged 45-54, and 33% of those aged 55-64.
quarter of the respondents (25%) had stored an extra supply of
medications important to their or their family's health in case of
emergency while over half (58%) had not.
- Respondents aged 65
or older (72%) more often said they did not store an extra supply of
medications compared to all other age groups.
has developed a list of emergency preparedness tips that consumers
should follow. These include keeping a list of all medications you are
taking in your wallet and storing 3-5 days of medications that are
important to your health. A full list can be found on SafeMedication.com
should ask their doctor or pharmacist if going without their
medications for several days could result in severe illness or
hospitalization. If so, it is critical that individuals have a plan in
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