The Marine Medicine Branch (MMB) supplies all ships with the medications, supplies, and equipment listed on the NOAA Fleet Formulary and Medical Inventory. Ships with a permanent or augmenting U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Medical Officer are provided a Medical Class A formulary, which includes additional medications and equipment needed to provide advanced life support. All other ships are provided a Medical Class B formulary. The USPHS Medical Officer, Medical Person in Charge (MPIC), or Commanding Officer’s (CO) designee is responsible for securing and maintaining the ship's formulary. Ships should notify the MMB when the formulary custodian changes. The MMB will include the ship's Executive Officer (XO) on all communications regarding formulary management.
Some items on the NOAA Fleet Formulary and Medical Inventory are considered mission critical. Ships must obtain a waiver to sail without mission critical items. A waiver is not required to sail with an expired mission critical medication when the Director of Marine Medicine has provided the ship a memo stating it is safe to use that expired medication.
Some medications on the NOAA Fleet Formulary and Medical Inventory are substances that are controlled by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Unauthorized possession or use of a controlled substance is a criminal offense. All access, which includes receipt, use, transfer, and inventory of a controlled substance, must be recorded on NOAA Form 57-10-12, Controlled Substance Inventory Log. The CO or Master is the designated controlled substance custodian for the ship. The CO or Master can designate the XO as the custodian. The custodian and one witness and must sign the controlled substance log each time a controlled substance is accessed. The MMB will provide a completed NF 57-10-12 for each controlled substance sent to a ship. The ship must maintain a copy of the NF 57-10-12 for two years after returning the substance to the MMB and may destroy it thereafter.
The MMB maintains a shared Google Medical Inventory Document for each ship and updates this document with the amounts and expiration dates of formulary items when they are sent to the ship. Upon receipt of formulary shipments, the custodian should verify that the inventory on hand and expiration dates within the shared document are accurate. As inventory is consumed, the custodian should edit the inventory on hand and use the comments section of the shared document to clarify precisely what was used. The formulary custodian will receive training regarding formulary management during MMB site visits to the ship. Questions regarding formulary management should be sent to email@example.com or 757-441-6463.