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May 9, 2018

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New Public Health Emergency Preparedness Bill in the Senate

IDSA is continuing to advance our priorities as Congress moves forward on efforts to reauthorize the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA).  PAHPA provides legal authority and recommended funding levels for the nation’s public health emergency preparedness programs and activities and must be reauthorized this year.  The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a discussion draft PAHPA reauthorization bill, to which IDSA has offered comments.

Notably, the draft bill provides new authority for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to undertake new strategic initiatives on antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial drug research and development.  IDSA has long advocated that AMR be included in BARDA’s mission, and we are further advocating for the PAHPA reauthorization bill to include a specific new incentive for antimicrobial drug R&D—a market entry reward for only the most urgently needed new antimicrobials, which would be tied to strong stewardship commitments.

IDSA is also advocating for the PAHPA reauthorization bill to include new investments in the public health workforce—specifically loan repayment for physicians who serve in CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), which has been challenged in recruiting physicians as high medical student debt drives many toward more lucrative career paths.

The discussion draft bill also contains IDSA supported provisions on global health security and a public health emergency fund to allow more swift responses to outbreaks, natural disasters, bioterror attacks and other crises.

The Senate HELP Committee is expected to release and vote upon a revised PAHPA reauthorization bill, incorporating some stakeholder comments, later this month.  The House Energy and Commerce Committee is also expected to develop and advance its own PAHPA reauthorization bill this spring.  IDSA will continue advocating for our priorities throughout this process.


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