Burr’s Pandemic Preparedness and Innovation Bills Pass Committee

WASHINGTON – Today, in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved two innovation bills offered by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). Both the Advancing Breakthrough Medical Devices for Patients Act of 2015 and Medical Countermeasures Innovation Act of 2015 passed on a voice vote. 

Senators Burr, Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced Advancing Breakthrough Devices for Patients Act in April of 2015.

Senator Burr and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Medical Countermeasures Innovation Act in September of 2015.

“Today we are one step closer to these important bills becoming laws” said Senator Burr. “We must be prepared to protect the American people from the full range of threats we may face, whether naturally occurring like an influenza pandemic, or the result of a deliberate attack. Innovative technologies are key for improving the daily lives of millions of Americans and making these technologies available as quickly as possible will improve patients’ lives and better prepare us to respond to health threats. I’m pleased the HELP Committee supported these bills.”

About the Medical Countermeasures Innovation Act of 2015: 

This legislation encourages the development of medical countermeasures, including drugs, devices and preventative treatments, needed to protect the American people in the event of a global pandemic or biological weapon attack. Despite recent improvements in America’s readiness and response capabilities, the Ebola crisis, the Zika virus and other emergencies at home and abroad make it clear that more needs to be done to ensure our government is fully capable of responding to these threats.

About the Advancing Breakthrough Devices for Patients Act of 2015:

This legislation builds on the Advancing Breakthrough Therapies for Patients Act, which the Senate passed in 2012 from Senators Bennet, Hatch, and Burr. Both the 2012 legislation and the newly introduced bill share similar principles, such as an “all hands-on-deck” approach to devices, while also complementing and enhancing the existing tools, such as priority review, currently in place for devices, with the goal of expediting the development and review of breakthrough products.