Obama signs PAHPRA into law

President Barack Obama signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act into law this weak, reauthorizing provisions of the Project Bioshield Act of 2004 and the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 for five more years.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority's mandate to support medical countermeasure development for biothreat agents for possible inclusion in the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile is extended under the law, which also enhances the FDA's authority to support rapid responses to public health emergencies by clarifying that the FDA may issue an emergency use authorization even before an event to allow certain products to be used as medical countermeasures, GlobalBioDefense.com reports.

Additionally, PAHPRA provides funding for myriad public health and medical preparedness programs.

"With the reauthorization, communities can continue to count on our National Disaster Medical System, now more than 7,000 personnel strong, to bring medical professionals from across the country to provide care and support hospitals, shelters, and communities after a disaster," Assistant Secretary from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Nicole Lurie said, according to GlobalBioDefense.com.

Implementation of the bill is estimated to cost $11 billion between fiscal years 2014 and 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office.