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PAHPA committee votes "important step forward" in public health preparedness

July 20, 2023
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Two Congressional committees this week pushed through legislation to reauthorize the Pandemic All Hazards and Preparedness Act (PAHPA). Following the votes, Phyllis Arthur -- Senior Vice President, Infectious Diseases & Emerging Science Policy -- made the following statement: 

“We are pleased lawmakers got one step closer to reauthorizing this important legislation.  

"Through our advocacy efforts – which included testifying before Congress and organizing biodefense company leaders' meetings to educate lawmakers – we have made clear the importance of robust investment today in preparedness for future pandemics, diseases, and public health threats. These efforts are absolutely crucial to ensure the private sector has trust and certainty with government partnerships to safeguard our nation’s health and national security.

"We were especially pleased to see lawmakers drop the ‘reasonable pricing’ clause in the PAHPA reauthorization. As we repeatedly warned, including such a clause would impede critical private sector investment and public-private partnerships necessary to ensure our nation’s intelligence, defense and healthcare agencies have the tools they need to defend all Americans from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, as well as future pandemics and natural disasters.

“We were also pleased that burdensome policies to address drug shortages were excluded in House Energy & Commerce Committee passed bill. We look forward to working with Congress to address real solutions to alleviate the shortage crisis facing patients.

"We are also extremely supportive of incentives included in the legislation advanced by the Senate HELP Committee to spur innovation and the development new and faster response capabilities – such as the MCM PRV program. These incentives encourage investment for R&D to diagnose, prevent and treat known and unknown threats and keep Americans safe, and signal to biotech and pharmaceutical investors that this area of biotech is worth the risky investment. 

"A timely reauthorization of PAHPA is an important moment for our nation and a massive win for the American public and military – especially on the heels of a, hopefully, once-in-a-generation pandemic.  

"The votes at both E&C and HELP Committees this week are important steps forward to increasing health preparedness. BIO will continue dialogue with lawmakers and stakeholders to ensure PAHPA reauthorization reaches the finish line and cultivate new ways to ensure our companies have every tool at their disposal to protect Americans from future health threats."

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