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Stockpile History

The National Pharmaceutical Stockpile was created in 1999 to ensure the nation’s readiness against potential agents of bioterrorism like botulism, anthrax, smallpox, plague, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and tularemia. The mission was to assemble large quantities of essential medical supplies that could be delivered to states and communities during an emergency within 12 hours of the federal decision to use the stockpile.

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted federal legislation and directives to strengthen public health emergency readiness.

Today, the Strategic National Stockpile works with governmental and nongovernmental partners to upgrade the ability to respond to a national public health emergency, ensuring that federal, state, and local agencies are ready to receive, and stage and distribute products.

The stockpile division also has dedicated staff working with the Global Health Security Agenda to share our expertise and knowledge of supply chain operations and medical countermeasure planning with other countries just beginning to develop their capabilities.

Learn more about the special group of experts who make the Strategic National Stockpile one of the nation’s most valuable emergency response resources.