BPC Action Urges Support of H.R. 6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA) in Uncategorized

BPC Action urges members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to support H.R. 6378, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA), scheduled for markup this afternoon. This bipartisan legislation is imperative to ensuring our nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies, including chemical, biological, or nuclear attacks, natural disasters, and infectious diseases by reauthorizing PAHPA programs’ funding past September 30, 2018.

Importantly, the bill authorizes robust funding of $7.1 billion over ten years for the Bioshield Special Reserve Fund, with authority to provide advance appropriations of at least $710 million per year. The Bipartisan Policy Center recommended this approach in its report, Budget for Medical Countermeasures: An Ongoing Need for Preparedness, to provide much-needed stability for our country’s system of medical countermeasures.

In addition to accelerating and improving countermeasure research and development—with a focus on more vulnerable populations, including children, people with disabilities, and seniors—PAHPA also:

  • Ensures immediate funding is available through the creation of a Public Health Emergency Response Fund for the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS);
  • Promotes countermeasure innovation through the Influenza Program and Emergency Infectious Diseases Program at the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA) to tackle known and unknown threats; and
  • Reauthorizes funding to improve bioterrorism and other public health emergency preparedness and response activities.

We urge congressional passage of this vital legislation, which strengthens Americans’ protection, particularly amongst our most vulnerable populations, from devastating threats.