Funding for Project Bioshield set to run out soon

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department is uncertain where funding for the research, development and acquisition of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear countermeasures might come from after money runs out in fiscal year 2013.
According to the Government Accountability office, the 10 year, $5.6 billion appropriation Congress gave HHS for the Project BioShield Special Reserve will come to an end during the next fiscal year. The project has provided the private sector with a large market for the development of CBRN countermeasures, Fierce Homeland Security reports. The government supplies this market because of a lack of widespread demand for countermeasures for uncommon incidents.
While HHS indicated it will start a five year budget planning process, it hasn't begun to identify future funding needs. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) introduced an authorization bill in June that would permit HHS to spend $2.8 billion from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2018 on the reserve fund and on the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, but the bill remains in subcommittee. In addition, HHS has yet to update its Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise implementation plan since 2007.
Despite periodic reviews of the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile of supplies, medications and its countermeasures portfolio, HHS cannot use those risk assessments to plan out a new budget.
"Unlike an updated PHEMCE plan, researchers and industry partners cannot use them to determine whether they have a viable concept or candidate product that might help fulfill HHS's countermeasure needs," the auditors said, according to Fierce Homeland Security.
HHS has the goal of releasing an updated plan in the spring. The plan will likely be an all-hazards plan that includes influenza and emerging infectious diseases.