Medication stockpiling – what the government is doing


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There’s little sense in my duplicating information that is already out there. 

 So I’ve been looking around, seeing what the government is doing to stockpile medication.  I had assumed we have national stockpiles, but had never really checked into it before now.    

I did find the CDC web site on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) quite interesting.  You can look it over yourself at:   

They state (and I believe) the CDC has:   

large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once Federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines will be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible. 

So what concerns me?  Several things. 


  • The system relies on intact communication and transportation systems.
  • It is aimed at large but local and isolated emergencies, not global catastrophe
  • The medications stockpiled are only for general and specific emergency situations, not daily medical problems.
  • With the recent H1N1 scare we’ve seen that distribution is not as rapid or efficient as needed.
  • If communication and transportation are disrupted, we do not know where the supplies are located.
  • For many communities the supplies are as much as 12 hours away by land or air.

    Aside from these concerns, it’s a good plan.  Certainly I believe our government should be making these preparations, but it cannot replace personal preparedness.    

    Although they have stockpiled antibiotics, IV fluids and supplies, painkillers, immunizations, and wound treatments, they do not appear to address many other common problems including: 

    •  diabetic medicationsto keep Aunt Nellie alive
    •  antidepressantsa common problem now and no doubt at TEOTWAWKI.
    • heart medsfor your father on coumadin or nitroglycerin
    • thyroid replacement therapyfor your sister on Synthroid
    • care of the chronically illto save your child with asthma
    • care of those with impaired mobilityso you don’t lose your favorite granny
    • common but minor illnesses, which may become serious if not treated properly, such as upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, gastroenteritis, ulcers, chest pain, anxiety, urinary infections, sprains, etc.  

    So it looks like there’s plenty of reason for personal preparedness.  In the near future I’ll be offering teleseminars and conferences on many of these topics. 

    For now, consider taking a look at 101 Ways to Save Money on Health Care, which offers advice on dozens of conditions you can effectively treat yourself. 

    Copyright © Cynthia J. Koelker.  All rights reserved    


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    About Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

    CYNTHIA J KOELKER , MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education.
    This entry was posted in 101 Ways to Save Money on Health Care, Chronic diseases, Immunization, Injuries, Medical archives, Medications, Perennial Favorites, Stockpiling medical supplies, Vaccination and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    11 Responses to Medication stockpiling – what the government is doing

    1. Susan O says:

      My husband suffers with his elbow and what do I store/use for inflammation?
      (Doc Cindy anwers – OTC ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are all excellent anti-inflammatories. The OTC versions are the same as prescription versions, only not as strong. The prescription strengths of ibuprofen and naproxen are 2-4 times as strong. All should be taken with food, to prevent stomach distress or possibly an ulcer.)

      Is there any info on blood pressure meds?
      (Doc Cindy replies – not much OTC but weight loss and exercise should help . . . which seems likely at TEOTWAWKI. Pamabrom is an OTC diuretic used for PMS symptoms that is similar to those used for hypertension. Corn silk contains a diuretic . . . anyone out there ever use it for hypertension with documented results?)

      I just found this site one hour ago and have been reading everything in sight. Can you point me in the right direction? Also which antibotics are right for viral ( I think none but do not know) and which ones for bacterial infections? Thank you so much. I do wish someone would do a study on the fish antibotics. Do I read the book to see how I get a Doctor to help? Susan

      (You can search the site for antibiotics, fish antibiotics, infection. Search bar top right. The book does contain a chapter on fish antibiotics as well, along with hundreds of pages on treating infections. Thanks. – Doc Cindy)

    2. Firefly says:

      Thank you for the posts. I am also interested in finding an alternative method or someway to deal with my thyroid issues if unable to continue my medication.
      {Details regarding self-study course have been emailed to you. – Doc Cindy}

    3. Lori says:

      THANK YOU Dr. Koelker. . . I need a new doctor and want one like you that understands end times, can you recommend a good doctor in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota? And one in Missoula, Montana? Kind regards and appreciation for your work.

      • Doc Cindy says:

        Unfortunately I don’t know physicians in your area. I am unaware of any network of physicians interested in end times. If there are any out there, perhaps you can respond to this post. Just imagine how proactice we would all be if we really believed societal collapse were a possibility.

    4. Edward W., MD says:

      Excellent website; I’m very pleased to find another doctor who is thinking that the future might not be a linear projection of the present and the past. Your commend about anti-depressant is right on the money. I’m a Board Certified Psychiatrist (Neuropsychiatrist actually) and very very few survival sites even consider the reality that depression will be rampant in ANY of the TEOTWAWKI scenarios. So will PTSD and Psychotic reactions, so maybe anti-psychotics like seroquel and abilify might come in handy.
      Thanks for a great site.

    5. This Thursday we’re having a teleconference on use of expired meds – maybe you’d like to join us (see Free Teleconference, top right). The question of thyroid medication is a popular one and will be included in my new book, Armageddon Medicine. Before then, I plan to do a whole post on thyroid replacement therapy.

      The “quick and dirty” answer is that the medicine in the original container is probably good for several years beyond the printed expiration date. But what then? Before Synthroid, thyroid replacement therapy was by dessicated animal thyroid (Armour thyroid or equivalent, which is still available). Bovine (cow) thyroid tissue is an option, but how much? I plan to visit a butcher soon and ask them some questions.

      See also

    6. Mike Fite says:

      Dear Dr. Koelker
      My wife had a total thyroidectomy 15 years ago and is taking synthroid. If the supply of synthroid is disrupted, what are our options? What is the real shelf life. Can it be manufactured at home? Thank you. Mike.

    7. Kev says:

      I agree with Dr. Koelker’s assessment. I have done some work with SNS planning, although that was several years ago, and the SNS is oriented more towards a Bio-terrorism or H1N1-like outbreak. The SNS is an area where the government is doing something meaningful, but one area of concern I have is the MASSIVE amounts of personnel that are needed at the LOCAL LEVEL to make the mass distribution of pharmaceuticals work. A second concern I have is, a dependence on volunteers to make the distribution work smoothly and efficiently, unless this volunteer based model has changed since I last worked on this project. City and county Boards of Health, Police and Fire/EMS departments will be swamped in a Bio-terrorism event, thus putting greater need on the use volunteers. Doable – Yes, but it absolutely must be coordination well in advance and distribution operations locally rehearsed on a routine basis.

      • All good points. I thought the H1N1 event was an eye-opener. By the time the vaccine came our way, the swine flu had already come and gone. In times of chaos, could we expect things to go any better?

        • Mike Hamilton says:

          No Doc, we can’t expect it to be any better. In fact, my guess is we should expect little to no help of any sort from governmental agencies once the wheels come off. The incompetence they have demonstrated leaves me with no confidence in them. I sincerely hope to be proven wrong, but I think it prudent to prepare just as if there will be no help coming. This crash is going to be too big and may happen very quickly. I would encourage people to get ready now!

    8. cheryl sisk says:

      I found you on survival blog ,and i said YES!!!!!!!! .THIS is what i was looking for. thank you for your work . cheryl in s. w. wisconsin

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