Emergency Distribution of Pharmaceuticals


Course Overview 

Course Quality Rating


Course Description

This course is provided by Northwest Center for Public Health Practice and will require a secondary login and/or registration.

During an emergency, public health workers may be called upon to help dispense medicine or medical supplies. Find out what is involved in the process of mass dispensing of medications, vaccines, or other medical supplies. This one-hour online course outlines situations in which mass dispensing is necessary, and discusses the logistics of providing medications to large populations.                                                                                                     

Click the LAUNCH button below to start or be taken to the course. 

Target Audience

This course is designed for public health workers and volunteer health care providers who wish to increase their knowledge of mass dispensing of pharmaceuticals. 

Learning Objectives

Having completed this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of medications, vaccines, and medical supplies in response to a public health emergency, such as an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or an influenza pandemic
  2. List and describe the pharmaceutical resources available for public health crises and describe how these resources could be used within local communities
  3. Describe the purpose and general process flow of a mass dispensing clinic or a point of distribution (POD)
  4. Explain the roles of public health staff and volunteers in a POD

Council of Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (COL)/COL Tier(s)

  1. 1A.1 (Tier 1): Identifies the health status of populations and their related determinants of health and illness
  2. 1A.2 (Tier 1): Describes the characteristics of a population-based health problem
  3. 2A.1 (Tier 1): Gathers information relevant to specific public health policy issues
  4. 2A.6 (Tier 1): Participates in program planning processes

Professional/Disciplinary Competencies

Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competency Model

Model Leadership

  • Solve problems under emergency conditions

Communicate and Manage Information

  • 2.1 Manage information related to an emergency
  • 2.2 uses principles of crisis and risk communication

Plan for and Improve Practice

  • 3.2 Contribute expertise to the development of emergency plans

Public Health Preparedness Capabilities

Capability 8. Medical Countermeasure Dispensing

  • Function 1: Identify and initiate medical countermeasure dispensing strategy
  • Function 2: Receive medical countermeasures
  • Function 3: Activate dispensing modalities
  • Function 4: Dispense medical countermeasures to identified population
  • Function 5: Report adverse events

Capability 9. Medical Material Management and Distribution

  • Function 1: Direct and activate medical material management and distribution
  • Function 2: Acquire medical material
  • Function 3: Maintain updated inventory management and reporting system
  • Function 4: Establish and maintain security
  • Function 5: Distribute medical material

Capability 14. Responder Safety and Health

  • Function 3: Coordinate with partners to facilitate risk-specific safety and health training 



Credit /CEU

None available


1 hr.


None listed 

Course Publication Date

None listed