Potassium Iodide pills available at pharmacies

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 2:59 p.m. CDT

People living within a 10-mile radius of the state’s six operating nuclear power plants can now obtain their free Potassium Iodide (KI) pills from one of 64 participating pharmacies.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) added 16 Community Pharmacy Prescription Network pharmacies to the distribution program.  The pills are also available at 48 participating Walgreens stores.

IEMA launched the KI distribution program in late 2012 by mailing vouchers to more than 60,000 homes within the Emergency Planning Zones (EPZs) of each plant. The vouchers can be redeemed at participating pharmacies for a two-day supply of KI for every member of the household.

KI is a non-prescription drug used to protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine, which could be released during a nuclear power plant accident.  The nuclear power plants in Illinois are Braidwood, Byron, Clinton, Dresden, LaSalle and Quad-Cities. 

“The addition of these 16 pharmacies will make it even more convenient for people to pick up KI pills for their families,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.  “So far, we’ve seen a good response to this offer, with nearly 20,000 pills already distributed.”

IEMA is also partnering with the Illinois Poison Center, which will field questions about the over-the-counter medication.  The Illinois Poison Center’s hotline is 800-222-1222.

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