Monday, March 24, 2008

VA Deploying Mobile Pharmacies

The Department of Veterans Affairs is deploying mobile pharmacies to provide vital medicine when patients are unable to fill their prescriptions. The VA will also open up the facilities to help communities during major disasters and other emergencies especially natural disasters.

Each VA mobile pharmacy is housed in a 40 foot solid steel trailer built to withstand winds in a Category 3 storm. Each mobile pharmacy is divided into five compartments, including a work area for pharmacists, an entryway accessible to patients, and a sleeping area with a bath and shower for VA personnel.

Each mobile computerized automated state-of-the-art mail out pharmacy will be able to process more than 1,000 prescriptions hourly. The units will be connected via a satellite with the VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy system, so that the pharmacists can use the satellite system to dispense drugs on site.

The first mobile pharmacy was unveiled in 2007 in Washington D.C. A unit was displayed recently at a meeting of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists in Las Vegas. A second mobile pharmacy is expected to be delivered this spring.

To ensure rapid response to a wide range of emergencies, the mobile pharmacies will be strategically placed across the nation. Plans now call for one of the three mobile pharmacies to be stationed at Dallas Texas, Murfreesboro Tennessee, and Charleston South Carolina. The Department also expects to acquire a fourth unit to be placed in the western part of the country.