The Alliance for Biosecurity recently commended congressional leaders for a “historic increase” to Project BioShield as well as significant increases to accounts such as the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), Pandemic Flu, and the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA).
“This historic increase is a solid step in ensuring preparedness and response activities are adequate to protect the American people,” Former Congressman and Alliance Co-Director Jack Kingston said. The more proactive we are, the more money we save in the long run. Ultimately, we save lives should an attack occur.”
The Project BioShield Special Reserve Fund (SRF) received a $200 million increase, approximately 40 percent above FY17. SRF, which was first funded in 2004, has received an annualized funding level of about $510 million for the past 15 years.
The SRF advances the development of doses of drugs against anthrax, smallpox, botulinum toxin and radiological threats. Because no commercial market exists for these products, Project BioShield acts as an incentive for private companies to invest in research and development in this field.
“Funding these critical biosecurity programs strengthens the nation’s ability to prepare, prevent, and protect the American people from public health threats and emerging infectious diseases,” Chris Frech, co-chair of the Alliance for Biosecurity, said. “Public-private partnerships will play a role in ensuring that this translates into the necessary medical countermeasures and infrastructure to support this cause.”
BARDA received a 5 percent increase and SNS received 6 percent. Congress also approved an increase to restore the Pandemic Flu account.
“We are pleased to see the funding decisions taken as a step in the right direction for the sustained protection of the US population against natural and man-made threats,” Alliance for Biosecurity Co-Chair Brent MacGregor said. “In particular, the pandemic influenza budget line is a distinct improvement over prior years’, although we still assert the need for multi-year funding to ensure a robust community of industry partners with the government.”