The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Flu and Stimulus

With new reported cases of avian flu in Canada and China  it’s encouraging to see that the U.S. economic stimulus plan boosts funding for development of vaccines and antiviral treatments for pandemic influenza.

The Senate version (pdf) of the stimulus contains $870 million “to complete President’s mission on pandemic preparedness.”  This is referring to the President’s Plan on Pandemic Influenza (introduced during the Bush Administration).

With respect to vaccine and antiviral R&D activities, this funding would go to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which “provides an integrated, systematic approach to the development and purchase of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies.”

The House of Representatives version originally contained about $900 million, but the latest draft of the bill has $420 million for development of vaccines/treatments for pandemic influenza. This funding can be used to support the Department of Health and Human Services’ other activities with respect to pandemic influenza preparedness (ex. flu surveillance).

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