BIO Applauds House Passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act
Washington, DC (June 5, 2019) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) applauds members of the House of Representatives for passing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAI) of 2019.
The legislation re-authorizes critical federal biodefense programs and agencies, including the BioShield Special Reserve Fund (SRF), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), and authorizes funding for pandemic influenza product development and procurement for the first time.
BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement regarding the vote:
“With this vote, Members of the House have demonstrated their commitment to health security by providing the resources needed to fully prepare for and defend against biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear threats. By authorizing increased, multi-year funding for these programs, as well as granting BARDA authority to address pandemic influenza, emerging infectious diseases, and antimicrobial resistance, this legislation would provide much needed flexibility and predictability for both government agencies as well as their private sector partners, which play a vital role in discovering and developing the medical countermeasures so desperately needed to protect our nation from these threats.
“These investments in preparedness and medical countermeasure development will enhance our response efforts, save lives, and be more cost effective in an emergency.
“I commend Congresswomen Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Susan Brooks (R-IN), as well as House leadership, for their steadfast and bipartisan cooperation in advancing this vital legislation.”
After 9/11 and the 2001 anthrax attacks, Congress mandated a dedicated effort to develop and stockpile drugs, vaccines and diagnostics needed to protect the American people from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) and pandemic threats. Because medical countermeasures to protect against threats like anthrax, Ebola, and plague have little or no commercial market, in 2004, Congress passed the Project BioShield Act which created the Special Reserve Fund (SRF) to help fund the development of these products. The 2006 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) created the position of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to lead the government’s response to national health emergencies. The bill also created the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to provide industry partners with funding and technical assistance in the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures. Key federal programs are reauthorized and funded every five years through the PAHPA legislation.