HHS out­lines strat­egy to pre­pare for emer­gen­cies

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

HHS in a new re­port out­lines a more ag­gres­sive strat­egy for pro­duc­ing med­i­ca­tions, vac­cines, equip­ment and sup­plies needed for un­fore­seen health emer­gen­cies, tac­tics known as “med­i­cal coun­ter­mea­sures.” The nation is fac­ing an in­creas­ingly dan­ger­ous land­scape “where we don’t know where the next pub­lic health cri­sis will come from,” HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius said at a news con­fer­ence. She and other fed­eral health of­fi­cials held the brief­ing to re­lease The Pub­lic Health Emer­gency Med­i­cal Coun­ter­mea­sures En­ter­prise Re­view: Trans­form­ing the En­ter­prise to Meet Long

range Na­tional Needs, which re­viewed the cur­rent process of coun­ter­ing un­ex­pected threats to come up with a new blue­print to im­prove med­i­cal re­sponses to health emer­gen­cies. The strat­egy in­cludes: up­grad­ing sci­ence and reg­u­la­tory ca­pac­ity at the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion; faster devel­op­ment of man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses that could be used for mul­ti­ple med­i­ca­tions or vac­cines; en­cour­ag­ing and fos­ter­ing young com­pa­nies to bring prod­ucts to mar­ket in an ef­fort to in­crease the num­ber of new coun­ter­mea­sures avail­able in an emer­gency; cre­at­ing new teams at the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health to iden­tify promis­ing re­search, which would trans­late into vac­cines, drugs and treat­ments; and up­grad­ing and ex­pe­dit­ing the process of flu vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ing. Se­be­lius said the fed­eral govern­ment would be in­vest­ing $2 bil­lion to fund these key ar­eas.

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