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Sustaining the Stockpile

Sustaining the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) involves managing the entire life cycle of stockpile assets as well as acquiring, storing, and transporting supplies.

SNS management includes:

  • Overseeing the shelf life of medicines to ensure the stock is rotated and kept within U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) potency shelf-life limits
  • Conducting routine quality assurance on all products
  • Performing annual inventory of all products
  • Inspecting environmental conditions, security, and package maintenance
  • Ensuring SNS holdings are based on the latest scientific data and threat levels
  • Ensuring the ability to transport items during a public health emergency

Shelf Life Extension Program

The SNS participates in the Federal Shelf Life Extension Program (for federal stockpiles) which is managed by the Department of Defense and the FDA. Once the FDA conducts stability testing and determines that products are stable and safe for continued use, the program will extend the use-by dates of pharmaceuticals beyond their original expiration dates. Testing typically provides an added 12 to 24 months of extended shelf life. More testing can lead to even longer extensions. Products that fail FDA testing are removed from stockpile inventory.

Participation in the Shelf Life Extension Program requires:

  • Tracking the expiration date and manufacturer lot numbers of eligible products
  • Coordinating the shipment of products to FDA for stability testing
  • Receiving and tracking FDA testing results for each lot of product
  • Disposing of and replacing product lots that have failed FDA testing

Inventory Management and Tracking System

In a large-scale public health crisis, state and local public health agencies will have to manage large quantities of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to help prevent or treat diseases. Responders need an effective software tool to manage the large and rapidly moving MCM inventory they may receive from the SNS.

The Inventory Management and Tracking System (IMATS) was created by the SNS to help state and local public health agencies manage these MCMs during a crisis. IMATS allows responders to track MCM inventory down to local levels; monitor reorder thresholds; and support warehouse operations. This tool can also be used in regular day-to-day operations.

Contact Us

For further questions or information about the Strategic National Stockpile, please email us at