Large scale MCM delivery system tested in Minnesota

Public health officials said the recent test of an emergency medicine delivery system in Minneapolis/St. Paul went well, but further analysis of the system will be conducted.

A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Health said the system, which utilizes the U.S. Postal Service to deliver critical medical countermeasures, worked without any major problems, but more time is needed to assess it critically, according to

During what was called Operation Medicine Delivery, 300 mail carriers distributed simulated antibiotics to approximately 37,000 households in the region from four different ZIP codes. The drill began in the morning and was finished by 3 p.m.

"We're very pleased with how the field portion of this test went," Buddy Ferguson, a spokesman for the state Health Department, said, reports. "We think this will be a very promising option in the event of an emergency. But there are lots of moving parts to it, and still lots of things yet to assess, lots of people, including law enforcement, to talk to about potential barriers that might be out there."

Operation Medicine Delivery was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Similar pilot-tests have been conducted in Boston, Philadelphia and Seattle, but the Twin Cities' test is the first one conducted on such a large scale.