FDA warns of lack of medical countermeasures

The Food and Drug Administration has created a five year, 50 page plan called the “Strategic Priorities 2011-2015: Responding to the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century” that reiterates current programs showing opportunities for growth.  

Several of the areas the report mention are efforts to make food and drug imports less vulnerable, improving regulatory science, and fighting new and emerging infections, Med Page Today reports.

“(The United States) does not yet have the range of medical countermeasures it requires to rapidly and effectively respond to a deliberate chemical, biological (such as anthrax or smallpox), radiological or nuclear event or naturally-occurring infectious disease outbreaks,” the report said, according to Med Page Today.

The report also stated that the agency would support the Obama administration’s plan to invest approximately $2 billion in measures that would counter pandemic and bioterrorism threats. This includes more and better vaccines, antibiotics, diagnostics, antivirals and medical equipment.

The FDA is also seeking to improve safety in the global food and drug supply chain by enforcing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

"It's no secret that the FDA's responsibilities have increased significantly over the past several years," Margaret Hamburg, the FDA’s commissioner, said in a press release, according to Med Page Today. "We must continue to build a stronger, more effective agency and, as this document outlines, do so in several specific ways."