BIO praises passage of PAHPA reauthorization

The Biotechnology Industry Organization recently praised the Senate for unanimously passing H.R. 307, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act.

Jim Greenwood, the president and CEO of the BIO, said the reauthorization of PAHPA demonstrated a solid commitment of government funding and attention. He said that this funding and attention will give the biotechnology industry the ability to do more to protect the U.S.

"We applaud the Senate for its commitment to improving our nation's capacity to prepare and respond to natural disasters, bioterrorist attacks, and outbreaks of infectious disease," Greenwood said. "PAHPRA enables the frontline response of the public health and healthcare systems, rather than funding on an emergency-by-emergency basis."

Greenwood said the bipartisan legislation gives clarity to the regulatory process for medical countermeasures at the Food and Drug Administration, encouraging the agency to provide technical assistance, develop regulatory management plans and solve regulatory issues with product sponsors. He said the provisions of the bill will accelerate the development and approval of medical countermeasures.

"Biotech companies are willing and active partners in the national security endeavor," Greenwood said. "Our industry plays a central role in ensuring the effective development of MCMs to protect our nation's citizens against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, whether naturally occurring or man-made. Strengthening the pipeline of medical products, drugs and devices that will safeguard the nation during an emergency or pandemic is vital to our national security."

The BIO represents more than 11,000 academic institutions, biotechnology companies, state biotechnology centers and related organizations throughout the United States and in more than 30 other countries.

On Monday, the House of Representatives voted 370-28 to pass the final version of H.R. 307 to send the bill to President Obama to be signed into law, BioCentury reports.