HHS Reports on Public Health Emergency Countermeasures

Janice Simmons, August 20, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday released a report reviewing how to improve the federal government's system to produce and utilize medications, vaccines, equipment, and supplies in case of a public health emergency.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had requested the review when the department encountered challenges with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine—highlighting the need for a modernized countermeasure production process. In particular, the review identified a need to upgrade the science and regulatory abilities at the Food and Drug Administration.

"Our nation must have a system that is nimble and flexible enough to produce medical countermeasures quickly in the face of any attack or threat, whether it?s a threat we know about today or a new one," Sebelius said in a statement.

Janice Simmons 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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