FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2009
Contact: HHS Press Office
Secretary Sebelius Takes Two Key Actions On Strategic National Stockpile
13 Million Treatment Courses Purchased to Replenish Stocks Sent to the States, 400,000 Treatment Courses Deployed to Mexico
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the Federal government will purchase an additional 13 million treatment courses to help fight influenza, including the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. The additional treatment courses will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile. The Secretary also announced that HHS began moving 400,000 treatment courses to Mexico to help slow the spread of the H1N1 virus.
"As this flu virus outbreak expands across the country, we have been taking necessary steps to ensure states have the resources they need," said Sebelius. "The 13 million additional treatment courses that we will purchase will allow us to replenish our national stockpile and further ensure we are prepared to provide the American people with the treatments they may need to stay healthy."
HHS has stockpiled approximately 50 million courses of antiviral drugs in the Strategic National Stockpile, and state stockpiles across the country include an additional 23 million more treatment courses. Earlier this week, HHS released a total of 11 million treatment courses to help all 50 states. Today HHS began moving 400,000 treatment courses to Mexico to help stop the spread of the virus. The 400,000 courses represent less than 1 percent of the total American stockpile.
As a result of today's action by the Secretary, HHS will spend an estimated $251 million to refill the Strategic National Stockpile and replace the 11 million treatment courses offered to states and to purchase an additional two million treatment courses. These additional two million treatment courses will be used to replace those that have been provided to Mexico or could also be available to respond to other outbreak needs.
"Flu viruses don't stop at the border, and it is imperative we do whatever we can to slow the spread of the virus and help stop this outbreak," said Sebelius.
HHS will make Strategic National Stockpile experts available on a background briefing call at 7:15 PM to answer questions about today's actions.
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Last revised: May 7, 2011