WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 (H.R. 269).
The legislation, which 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), will help strengthen the pipeline and stockpile of medical countermeasures vital to our nation’s safety and defense.
BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement regarding the vote:
“Members of the House have sent a strong signal to the American people about their commitment to prioritizing health security by providing the resources needed to fully prepare for and defend against biological threats. 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.
“I commend Congresswomen Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Susan Brooks (R-IN), as well as House leadership, for recognizing the importance and urgency of this bill and acting swiftly at the beginning of the 116th Congress to reauthorize the PAHPA legislation. I urge the Senate to follow suit in prioritizing our nation’s health preparedness and response efforts by quickly considering and passing this bill.”
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.