The Network received a request from a local health official working on emergency preparedness issues. The official was developing plans to utilize Closed Points of Distribution (Closed PODS) during emergencies. A Closed POD is operated by a business or community organization that partners with a local health agency to distribute medication and medical supplies during an emergency. A number of potential legal issues are implicated in the operation of a Closed POD, including possible liability risks for the entity serving as a POD. The official asked the Network for any available resources on the liability of organizations acting as PODs as well as individuals distributing medications.
The Network provided the official with several resources and a summary of the major issues covered in each. Resources provided included an ASTHO fact sheet on the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act as well as a Network Issue Brief entitled "Legal Issues Relevant to Private Entities Serving as Closed Points of Dispensing in Emergencies.”