Sen. Burr introduce Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 was introduced this week by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), along with Sens. Harkin, Enzi, Casey and Alexander.

The bipartisan efforts aims to ensure that the United States is prepared for a host of medical and public health emergencies, including biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks.

The federal government, as a result of the passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006, in partnership with state and local governments, took significant steps to strengthen the nation's medical and public health preparedness and response capabilities.

Despite the steps taken to prepare for health emergencies, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and other emergencies underscored the need to maximize the ability of the U.S. to respond to threats.

"The threats facing our nation are serious and we must address them accordingly," Burr said. "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. 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."

The proposed reauthorization would optimize state and local all-hazards preparedness, response efforts and collaboration. It would also enhance medical countermeasure activities and reauthorize key medical and public health programs, including the BioShield Special Reserve Fund.