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article imageU.S. renews funding for Project BioShield

By Tim Sandle     Mar 30, 2013 in Science
The U.S. government reauthorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPA). This means that Project BioShield, designed to project U.S. citizens from biological and nuclear threats will receive new funding.
In March 2013, the President Obama signed the re-authorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPA). The re-authorization provides Project BioShield and the Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) with a further fund of $2.8 billion through 2018.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the PAPHA Act enables: "The reauthorization is a recognition of the importance of investing in innovation and supporting communities in public health preparedness. The programs and flexibilities provided through the reauthorized law will help move preparedness forward for our country and ultimately help build communities that are more resilient when faced with disaster."
Examples of where Federal support is needed have included the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the successful evacuation of health care facilities after storms such as the Joplin, Mo., tornado and Superstorm Sandy.
Speaking on the passing of the PAHPA, Congressman Mike Rogers said on his blog: "This legislation will save lives by improving our ability to quickly respond to a bioterror attack or pandemic outbreak. It was developed after years of careful deliberation between leaders in the House and Senate. I’m proud Congress did its job and worked together to develop a fiscally-responsible, bipartisan plan to protect Americans from a bioterror attack."
With BARDA, the extra funding will be used to develop and purchase medical countermeasures against emerging infectious diseases and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. BARDA provides an integrated, systematic approach to the development and purchase of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies.
The Project Bioshield Act, which is part of BARDA's activities, was an act passed by the United States Congress in 2004 calling for $5 billion for purchasing vaccines that would be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack. Since then the project has continued to be financed. Dr. Robert Kadlec, a consultant with RPK Consulting, has argued that Project BioShield has achieved its strategic objectives and merits continued support and funding.
The Act also enhances the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) authority to issue emergency use authorization for use of certain medical countermeasures to respond to public health emergencies.
BARDA and the FDA are just some of the Federal agencies that will be speaking at the 11th Annual Emerging Infectious Diseases + Biodefense Vaccines, Therapeutics & Diagnostics conference, scheduled for June 17-19, 2013, in Washington, DC.
More about project bioshield, Us government, Obama, Senate, Healthcare
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