Bill to strengthen biopreparedness introduced

Four U.S. senators recently introduced a bill to help prepare the nation for the threat of a bioterror terror attack or a newly emerging pandemic.

Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) and Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) introduced the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization Bill of 2011 as a bipartisan effort to ready the nation for a range of medical emergencies that could arise as a result of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack, according to

“The threats facing our nation are serious and we must address them accordingly,” Burr said, reports. “The American people expect us to do all that we can to prevent an attack and, if one should occur, be fully prepared to respond, including having safe and effective medical countermeasures readily available. While key progress has been made since PAHPA was signed into law, more work remains to be done.”

The original legislation, passed in 2006, took steps to organize how the federal government would respond to an attack or new pandemic in partnership with state and local governments. The U.S. response to the H1N1 pandemic has since provided lessons that have been integrated into the reauthorization bill.

“This legislation redoubles our efforts to protect the American people by strengthening our existing programs and making targeted improvements in areas in which we know we must do better, including ensuring that our nation’s medical countermeasure enterprise reflects and is prepared to respond to modern-day threats,” Burr said, according to