04.14.08

Burr Applauds Appointment Of BARDA Director

Position authorized by Burr’s “Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act”

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) praised the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for appointing the first director of the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA). The position was established as part of Senator Burr's Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), which was signed into law on December 19, 2006. The department announced the appointment of Robin Robinson, Ph.D. to the position earlier today.

"I am pleased to see HHS take this important step in preparing for potential health emergencies," Burr said. "Dr. Robinson brings a wealth of experience from both industry and government service. By having a permanent BARDA Director in place, HHS can move forward more aggressively with the development of drugs and vaccines to protect the American people from potential threats."

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (P.L. 109-417) improves the nation's public health and medical preparedness and response capabilities for emergencies. PAHPA empowers the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public more effectively and efficiently by responding to public health emergencies with a clear line of authority from local to state to federal officials. It also speeds up the development of drugs and vaccines to protect the American people from health emergencies by establishing BARDA.

BARDA leads the government's efforts to develop medical countermeasures to defend against chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents and emerging pandemic infectious diseases. The Director of BARDA will report directly to the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Dr. Craig Vanderwagen.