WASHINGTON, July 3 – Staffs of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Ranking Member of HELP, along with Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) today released and are seeking feedback on a staff-level bipartisan discussion draft to reauthorize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) – legislation that would help prepare the United States for the next public health emergency.
Outside of the staff-level agreement, the Chair’s staff is requesting feedback on policy to require that all BARDA and CDC-supported products be sold to the Federal Government or in the U.S. commercial market at the lowest price among G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom) and at a reasonable price. Brackets surrounding this provision in Title VI – Additional Policies Outside the Staff Agreement for Stakeholder Feedback – indicate that this policy has not been agreed to.
Also outside of the staff-level agreement, the Ranking Member’s staff is requesting feedback on policy to incentivize the development of more medical countermeasures (MCMs) by extending the Priority Review Voucher program through the duration of PAHPA and (1) providing a new, non-transferrable priority review voucher to companies that develop new MCMs on top of the transferrable voucher they currently receive; and (2) including threats to the Armed Forces. Brackets surrounding this provision in Title VI – Additional Policies Outside the Staff Agreement for Stakeholder Feedback – indicate that this policy has not been agreed to.
The Senate HELP Committee is requesting comments on the discussion draft. Comments must be submitted to PAHPA2023Comments@help.senate.gov by Monday, July 10, at 10:00 a.m. ET, to be considered.
First passed in 2006, PAHPA is set to expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30. In March, Chairman Sanders joined with Ranking Member Cassidy, M.D., and Sens. Casey and Romney in a bipartisan request for input from public health officials, health care providers, and other stakeholders on policies the committee should consider, improve upon, and address during this reauthorization of PAHPA.
Last month, the HELP Committee held a hearing to consider the reauthorization of PAHPA and heard from experts including Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O'Connell, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and FDA Commissioner Robert Califf.
Read the text of the draft bill, here.