The Biotechnology Industry Organization lauds the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 307, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA), today by a vote of 395-29. BIO also commends Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) for their leadership on this very important issue.
Below is a statement from BIO’s President and CEO, Jim Greenwood:
The reauthorization of PAHPA is an opportunity to build more prepared and resilient communities that are better able to withstand natural disasters, bioterrorist attacks, and outbreaks of infectious disease. We applaud the House for demonstrating its commitment to improving our nation’s capacity to prepare and respond to such significant events.
The original PAHPA legislation represented a major step in developing the role of America’s public health and medical systems in preparing for,and responding to,major emergencies, whether natural or man-made. As evidenced by the recent, widespread destruction of Hurricane Sandy, our nation faces continuing threats, both natural and man-made, that require an ongoing commitment to health preparedness.
The bipartisan legislation will help advance medical countermeasure (MCM) development through increased coordination among agencies, a more transparent and consistent regulatory process and continued commitment of government funding to incentivize industry to develop these countermeasures for which the federal government is the only customer.
Our members play a central role in ensuring the effective development of MCMs to protect our nation’s citizens against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, whether naturally occurring or man-made.
Strengthening the pipeline of medical products, drugs and devices that will safeguard the nation during an emergency or pandemic is vital to our national security.
The legislation contains important innovations in pediatric preparedness and pediatric MCM development, which were lacking in the original law. We also applaud provisions for advancing biosurveillance planning, as we face a new paradigm in health information. The basic programs that promote preparedness at the federal, state, local, and health system level need reauthorization and implementation.
Passage of PAHPRA demonstrates our nation’s commitment to prioritizing health preparedness and response as we do when confronted by other national security issues. PAHPRA enables the stable frontline response of the public health and healthcare systems, rather than funding on an emergency-by-emergency basis.
We thank the House for quickly considering, and passing, this reauthorization, and we look forward to working with the Senate to see a PAHPA reauthorization enacted as early as possible this year.