Disease X Pandemic Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Thom Tillis introduced the Disease X Act of 2023 to develop the necessary medical countermeasures (MCMs) to combat future pandemics.
Even though deadly infectious disease epidemics can dramatically affect the American public, military personnel, and our economic and national security, there is currently no sustained funding, program, or strategy dedicated to accelerating the development of medical countermeasures for previously identified infectious disease threats with the greatest pandemic potential, referred to as Disease X, wrote these senators.
"The Disease X Act of 2023 empowers Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to invest in modern technologies that will lead to new vaccines and drugs against pandemic–capable viruses."
The Disease X Act of 2023 protects Americans by establishing a Disease X Medical Countermeasures Program at BARDA in the Department of Health and Human Services by the following:
- Providing funding of $40 million per year for five years specifically for Disease X MCMs;
- Clarifying the HHS may award contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements, or enter into other transactions, to promote the development of Disease X MCMs;
- Directing BARDA to accelerate and support the advanced research, development, and procurement of countermeasures and products to address Disease X threats; and
- Requiring products developed using the Disease X Program funding be substantially manufactured in the United States.
"This Act would be a major leap forward in our collective efforts to stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat landscape," commented Anita Cicero, Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in a press release.
"The Disease X Act of 2023 empowers BARDA to invest in modern technologies that will lead to new vaccines and drugs against pandemic–capable viruses."