South Dakota chosen to test antidote stockpile system

South Dakota chosen to test antidote stockpile system Governor Janklow announced today that South Dakota has been chosen to test a system for stockpiling antidotes for chemical and nerve agents that could be used in a terrorism attack.

Washington state and New York City were the other two sites selected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pilot the antidote stockpile approach.

"Stockpiling pharmaceuticals is a key part of the national effort to prepare for terrorism incidents," the Governor said. "The fact that South Dakota was one of just three sites chosen to pilot the chemical antidote stockpile is a real vote of confidence. Our bioterrorism preparedness effort to date obviously convinced CDC that South Dakota was a state that could do this and do it right."

The stockpile concept calls for placing chemical and nerve agent antidote in locations where it could be distributed and administered within the first 15 minutes of an event. Each stockpile would treat approximately 16,000 individuals and would include a combination of auto-injectors for use by first responders and multi-dose vials for hospitals.

Antidotes and treatments for chemical and nerve agents are typically not stocked by hospitals or local pharmacies in large quantities because they are not used in routine daily health care delivery. Additionally, they can have a very short shelf life if not maintained in an environmentally controlled setting. The stockpile is designed to remedy these limitations.

"The reason for the stockpile is terrorism but there's no doubt this system will also increase our ability to respond to other incidents as well. For example, even though the stockpile contents are the property of CDC, they could be used to respond to other incidents such as a hazardous materials spill," the Governor said.

South Dakota state agency representatives will meet with the CDC officials in Atlanta next week for more detail on the pilot project. The target date for actual placement of the stockpiles is January 2003. After one year, CDC will evaluate the pilot for continuation and possible expansion to other states.

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