12.19.06

Burr’s Biodefense and Pandemic Preparedness Legislation Signed into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today President Bush signed into law S. 3678, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act authored by Senator Richard Burr. This legislation represents the culmination of two years of bipartisan work within Congress on important issues of preparedness for all-hazards public health emergencies be they chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threats as well as deliberate, accidental or natural disasters.

"I am thrilled President Bush signed this important piece of legislation into law," said Senator Burr. "This law takes important steps to increase our preparedness and response capabilities for public health emergencies and it improves our ability to create new drugs and vaccines to fight against emergencies like a flu pandemic."

The legislation improves our public health and medical preparedness for and responses to emergencies and disasters. Additionally, it enables the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to partner with universities, research institutions, and industry to bring more and better medical countermeasures to the public faster in case of emergency, such as a flu pandemic.

Burr's bill reauthorizes the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, which was signed into law following the terrorist attacks of September 11th. This law made important improvements in our ability to detect bioterrorist attacks and to care for a greater number of patients in an emergency. Burr's bill also builds on the Project BioShield Act of 2004 to accelerate advanced research and development of drugs and vaccines to protect the United States from health emergencies.