Burr praises committee passage of PAHPA reauthorization

Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) issued a statement on Wednesday praising the passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2013 by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The passage by the committee will allow the bill to reach the Senate floor. Burr was the author of the bill, which is meant to improve the nation's medical and public health preparedness and response capabilities for emergencies, with a focus on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.

"PAHPA ensures that our nation is prepared to respond to a wide range of medical and public health emergencies by optimizing state and local preparedness and response efforts, enhancing medical countermeasure activities, and reauthorizing key medical and public health programs," Burr said.

PAHPA was originally signed into law in 2006 as part of an effort to improve preparedness and response capabilities. If passed, the bill would reauthorize and enhance the National Disaster Medical System, the volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals and the Strategic National Stockpile.

"As the reauthorization of PAHPA comes to the Senate floor, I hope my colleagues will move swiftly to ensure that we are as prepared as we can be when faced with a public health emergency," Burr said.