Government to overhaul bioterror and pandemic flu plans


Andrew Zajac
Los Angeles Times
August 20, 2010

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Acknowledging that the development of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism threats and pandemic flu is lagging, federal authorities Thursday announced a $1.9-billion makeover of the system for identifying and manufacturing drugs and vaccines for public health emergencies.

The overhaul includes refinements to manufacturing aimed at shaving weeks off the time it takes to produce pandemic flu vaccine, and a series of steps aimed at more quickly spotting promising scientific discoveries and getting them to market.

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“We aren’t generating enough new products,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, citing “leaks, chokepoints and dead ends” in the medical development pipeline.

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