AFB testimony urges better preventative measures

In a written testimony released by the Alliance for BioSecurity (AFB), it calls for the research support to develop vaccines and treatment options for deadly diseases.

The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa brings to the public's attention the need for development funding so that future outbreaks of that and of other illnesses can be prevented. The outbreak raises questions on the U.S.'s preparedness level.

They cite that because there is no consumer market for deadly but rare diseases such as Ebola, anthrax, MERS and pandemic forms of influenza, companies that would potentially produce these vaccination options cannot afford to. This is because many of these vaccines and medicines take approximately 8 to 12 years and nearly $1 billion to develop. As they see it, the only option in terms of funding has to come from governmental sources.

Emergency supplemental resources are inadequate because they come at times of crisis and only when funded can research be useful in fighting these diseases. They call on the government to have plans to fund this research before a potential outbreak occurs.

AFB aims to provide more interaction and collaboration between governments and pharmaceutical companies to increase development of vaccines and medicine to combat deadly diseases. They also aim to influence policy that would help stockpile and produce medical countermeasures in the case of a biomedical emergency or attack.

Alliance members include Johnson & Johnson, Bavarian Nordic and the Battelle Memorial Institute, among others.