Medical Countermeasure Readiness

medical countermeasures header image
MCMS Can Include

What are Medical Countermeasures?

Medical countermeasures, or MCMs, are life-saving medicines and medical supplies regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can be used to diagnose, prevent, protect from, or treat conditions associated with chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) threats, emerging infectious diseases, or a natural disaster.

Why are MCMs Important?

Having enough medicines and supplies stored can help save the lives of those who may need them the most during a public health emergency.

How do MCMs Get to the Public?

Health care workers and public health responders may dispense or administer MCMs under official federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial emergency response plans.

What is CDC’s Role?

In the event of CBRN threats, emerging infectious diseases, or natural disasters, state, local, tribal, or territorial health departments may need medicines and medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile if local supplies are depleted. Through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program, CDC collaborates with states and local jurisdictions to ensure they have plans and processes in place to receive and provide life-saving medicines and supplies.

CDC experts provide:

  • Guidance – To help health departments develop, test, operationalize, and improve preparedness and medical countermeasure plans
  • Technical Assistance To provide information and resources to ensure health departments are ready to respond to threats that might require medical countermeasures
  • Evaluation – To standardize approaches and tools to measure the readiness of health departments to get life-saving medicines and supplies to the public

HHS State Antiviral Drug Stockpile Update

HHS is aware that some states continue to retain stockpiles of antiviral drugs as part of influenza planning and response. Many of the drug lots held in state stockpiles have passed the manufacturer’s labeled expiration date or the extended expiration dates previously provided to states. Updated information from FDA about extended expiration dating of stockpiled Tamiflu and Relenza products is provided herepdf icon.

What is CDC’s Cities Readiness Initiative?

CDC’s Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federally funded program designed to enhance preparedness in the nation’s largest population centers, where nearly 60% of the population resides, to effectively respond to large public health emergencies needing life-saving medicines and medical supplies. Learn more about CRI.

MCM Readiness In Action

Page last reviewed: April 29, 2022, 12:04 pm