Sens Burr and Casey Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Better Protect Americans from Threat of Biological Attacks and Pandemics

WASHINGTON – Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) yesterday introduced the Medical Countermeasure 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 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. This legislation further supports the development of life-saving products against either natural or deliberate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

"As Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, I recognize that threats facing our nation are growing every day,” said Senator Burr. “The American people expect our government to do everything possible to prevent an attack against us and, if one should occur, be ready to respond, including having as many safe and effective medical countermeasures as readily available as possible.  This legislation continues our efforts to be better prepared to protect the American people with the medical countermeasures needed against a range of threats we may face, whether naturally occurring or the result of an attack.”

“Preparedness is a continual effort to ensure that we have the capability to respond to any threat to public health,” said Senator Casey. “We must continue to support the development of new medical countermeasures against a wide range of threats, from emerging infectious diseases like Ebola or novel strains of flu, to known threats like anthrax, and ensure that we are fully prepared for these types of emergencies. This legislation will strengthen our preparedness system and provide incentives for new medical countermeasure development.”

Read the legislation here and here.