Roundtable discusses Europe's biopreparedness awareness

BRUSSELS — A roundtable discussion Oct. 14 focused on raising awareness in Europe about the importance of biopreparedness against naturally occurring pandemics and bioterrorism attacks.

Sponsored by Emergent BioSolutions, the Security and Defence Agenda played host to officials and experts from the security, defense, and health communities across Europe.

Panel speakers from NATO, the European Commission, and the Office of the EU counterterrorism coordinator shared their experiences and expressed their views on how to ensure civilian and military safety in Europe.

“Today’s roundtable is particularly timely as the European Commission had recently launched its CBRN Action Plan, which provides a solid foundation for increased biopreparedness,” said Allen Shofe, senior vice president for public affairs of Emergent BioSolutions.

Biopreparedness includes the development of a comprehensive and executable preparedness and response plan well in advance of an actual biological incident. The plan encompasses research and development of medical countermeasures and their subsequent approval and procurement for government stockpiles, authorization of their use, and logistics for transporting and dispensing these medical countermeasures in the event of an attack.