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Monday, April 22nd, 2024

Alliance for Biosecurity applauds subcommittee efforts to sustain medical countermeasure funding

The Alliance for Biosecurity lauded the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday for recommending sustained funding in its FY 2017 appropriations bill for some essential medical countermeasures programs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The subcommittee prioritized funding on Tuesday for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the BioShield Special Reserve Fund (SRF) and the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) in the annual appropriations bill.

The Senate bill includes funding levels of $512 million for Barda, $510 million for the BioShield SRF, $575 million for SNS and $72 million for pandemic influenza. The funding levels for the four programs were the same as their FY 2016 levels.

“At a time when Americans are clearly concerned about infectious disease outbreaks like Zika and Ebola, and the world has seen terrorist attacks in major European cities, the Senate took an important step forward to ensure health care professionals have the tools they need to rapidly respond to a range of intentional threats,” Chris Frech, senior vice president for global government affairs at Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., and Alliance co-chair, said. “The Alliance for Biosecurity commends the Senate Appropriations subcommittee for their commitment to the public-private partnerships that are the backbone of our biosecurity preparedness programs.”

Despite the subcommittee’s efforts, the Alliance for Biosecurity expressed disappointment with the “persistent lack of commitment” to pandemic influenza preparedness, which it called one of the most serious national security threats facing the nation.

The subcommittee has previously received praise from the Alliance for Biosecurity for its efforts and dedication to the development and procurement of medicines and vaccines to protect U.S. citizens from such biosecurity threats as Ebola, smallpox and pandemic influenza.