Washington, DC (March 8, 2012) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement applauding Senate passage last night of the Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) Reauthorization of 2011, S. 1855:
“BIO thanks Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) for their leadership on the critical issues of public health and emergency preparedness as original sponsors of the legislation.
“Biotech companies are willing and active partners in the national security endeavor. The reauthorization of PAHPA streamlines, strengthens and improves the current system and reaffirms our government’s commitment to this national security priority.
“The bipartisan legislation provides needed clarity for the regulatory process for medical countermeasures at the Food and Drug Administration and strongly encourages the Agency to work with product sponsors to develop regulatory management plans, provide technical assistance and help solve regulatory and scientific issues. These provisions will help provide transparency and consistency which will help accelerate the development and approval of medical countermeasures, improving the nation’s preparedness in the face of a public health crisis or bioterrorism event.
“BIO is pleased that the reauthorization of the Special Reserve Fund within BioShield was included in this legislation. The funding available in the Special Reserve Fund is vital for private companies working on the development of medical countermeasures for which the federal government is the sole market.
“The reauthorization of PAHPA and the Special Reserve Fund signify the solid commitment of government attention and funding which will allow the biotech industry to do even more to help protect our nation.”
Last year, the House of Representatives passed a companion bill, H.R. 2405, introduced by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI).