Preparing for biothreats: Bills S. 2055 and H.R. 3299

via The Hill
October 23, 2015
By Bert Liang

Historically, Congress has funded the Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to facilitate the development of MCMs, partnering with industry.  Congress also authorized a 10-year appropriation of $5.6 billion (Project Bioshield) to purchase such MCMs to protect the American public from biologic attacks.  Project Bioshield funding expired in 2013, and as a result, the program is now funded on an annual basis, creating significant uncertainty and thus becoming less attractive that a given company will focus valuable resources on MCMs. Indeed, as with any pharmaceutical product, the development of these essential drugs and vaccines is not inexpensive and is fraught with risk, and in the case of MCMs, one that may never be rewarded with a procurement contract.

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