HHS Reports on Public Health Emergency Countermeasures

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , August 20, 2010

The review also found that the United States must more quickly develop manufacturing processes that can be used for multiple medications or vaccines—rather than processes that produce only one type of countermeasure.

As a result of this finding, HHS is expected to shortly release a draft soliciting new "centers of innovation for advanced development and manufacturing" that can quickly produce a variety of countermeasures—without relying on foreign manufacturing.

The review also revealed that the federal government must do a better job nurturing discoveries in their earliest stages and subsequently letting them grow. To meet this need, HHS will be creating new teams at the National Institutes of Health to identify promising research and facilitate for ranslation into vaccines, drugs, and treatments.

Also on Thursday, NIH also announced its plans to invest $105 million over the next five years to develop products to diagnose, prevent, and treat the consequences of exposure to a radiological or nuclear attack. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases? Centers for Countermeasures Against Radiation (CMCR) program, first established in 2005, will support research at seven institutions nationwide.

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at jsimmons@healthleadersmedia.com.

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