Government Funding Extended: Biodefense Industry Urges Congress to Reauthorize Critical Pandemic Preparedness Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Alliance for Biosecurity urges Congress to protect America’s public health and national security capabilities by reauthorizing the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) in the forthcoming government funding bill, which is set to expire March 22, 2024.

“The Alliance for Biosecurity commends Congress for adopting a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown and to continue funding critical biodefense programs necessary to protect U.S. national and public health security. However, we cannot jeopardize America’s preparedness and response capabilities. Congress must reauthorize PAHPA,” said former Congressman and Alliance for Biosecurity Secretariat Jack Kingston.

PAHPA authorizes critical federal programs that promote the rapid development, production, stockpiling, and distribution of vital medical countermeasures (MCMs). The five-year authorization, which expired September 30, 2023, also provides for necessary Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs including the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

A comprehensive reauthorization of PAHPA policies and funding is needed to support the medical countermeasures (MCM) enterprise and sustain government partnerships with private industry that are the foundation of America’s preparedness and response capabilities. The current lack of programmatic certainty jeopardizes continued development and stockpiling of MCMs needed to respond to pandemics, natural disasters, and other natural or man-made emergencies.

The Alliance calls on Congress to advance PAHPA reauthorization at the next opportunity to maintain these and other health and security programs that support the development, procurement, and stockpiling of live-saving MCMs.