Center for Health Security submits Senate RFC on PAHPA reauthorization
July 10, 2023 – The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security remains a trusted, independent, and expert voice in policy conversations about the upcoming Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) reauthorization.
Today, the Center responded to a Request for Comment (RFC) on a staff-level discussion draft released by the staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ranking Member Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Sens. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and Mitt Romney (R-UT). This submission follows the Center’s response to the HELP Committee’s Request for Information (RFI) in March.
In the Senate RFC, the Center's highest priority comments on the marked-up discussion draft and recommendations are as follows:
- Strongly support the establishment of a 'Disease X' Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Program to protect against unknown viral threats in Section 203 and recommend the inclusion of dedicated funding found in S.2093, Disease X Act of 2023.
- Require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prescribe a regulation requiring gene synthesis screening of incoming orders of gene sequences and to require purchasers of gene sequences to order only from providers and manufacturers who perform such screening.
- Require the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to create target product profiles (TPPs) for next-generation reusable respirators and a process of recurring competitive bidding for products meeting increasingly stringent TPPs to create demand-side incentives for next-generation reusable respirators.
- Require ASPR to develop and implement a National Diagnostics Action Plan, including the establishment of a permanent public-private coordination forum for diagnostic testing.
- Require ASPR to establish a Bioattribution Strategy to improve US bioattribution capabilities.
First signed into law in 2006, PAHPA is considered a "must pass" bill that bolsters the nation's medical and public health preparedness and response capabilities. Congressional reauthorization is due by September 30, 2023.
Read the Center's full Senate RFC response here.