Reauthorization demonstrates government commitment to national security priority
Washington, D.C. (November 15, 2011) –Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement in strong support of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) Reauthorization of 2011, S. 1855, which was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Additional cosponsors include Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Pat Roberts (R-KS).
“From diagnostics to detect contagions to vaccines to prevent infection to therapies to treat infected patients, biotech companies are willing partners in the national security endeavor. The reauthorization of PAHPA is an opportunity to streamline, strengthen and improve the current system and reaffirm our government’s commitment to this national security priority.”
“Along with PAHPA, we support simultaneous reauthorization of the BioShield Special Reserve Fund, as that funding is vital for private companies, given the high cost and significant time commitment associated with the development and manufacture of these products for which the federal government is the only customer.
“The bipartisan legislation also provides needed clarity for the regulatory process for medical countermeasures at the Food and Drug Administration and requires the Agency to take Material Threat Determinations into consideration when reviewing products. These provisions 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.
“The biotech industry wants to do even more to help protect our nation from bioterrorism. The reauthorization of PAHPA and the BioShield Special Reserve Fund would mark a critical commitment of government attention and funding which will allow the biotech industry to do even more to help protect the nation from bioterrorism.
“BIO greatly appreciates the tireless efforts of Senators Burr, Harkin, Enzi, Casey and the other cosponsors of S. 1855, as well as Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and the cosponsors of H.R. 2405, the House companion. We look forward to working with the Congress to pass this legislation promptly.”