Legislation to strengthen the national pandemic…

Collins secured priorities including strengthening drug supply chain issues, supporting public health personnel and expanding mental health services

washington d.c. – US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that the Prepare for and respond to existing viruses, new emerging threats and the PREVENT Pandemics Act passed the Senate Health Committee by a majority bipartisan vote of 20 to 2. Senator Collins, a member of the Health Committee, advocated for this bipartisan legislation to strengthen national public health and preparedness and response systems medical. The bill will now be considered by the full Senate.

the Pandemic PREVENTION Actpresented by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), chair and member of the Senate Health Committee, incorporates ideas from 35 different bills and 41 from their colleagues, several of whom have been added during markup amendments.

“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we use the lessons learned over the past two years to inform and strengthen our nation’s pandemic preparedness,” said Senator Collins. “This comprehensive bill includes many of my priorities, including addressing supply chain issues for drugs and medical devices; support public health personnel; and expanding access to mental health and addictions services during public health emergencies. I am encouraged by the bipartisan commitment to strengthening our public health capacity and preparedness, which will improve our response to future pandemics.

The PREVENT Pandemics Act represents nearly a year of committee work to review the nation’s response to the pandemic and includes key reforms to improve the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) accountability and transparency, support leadership and coordination of the federal government through the establishment of the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy at the White House, ensure that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) keeps pace with cutting-edge platform technology and improves the safety and security architecture of the country’s laboratories.

The priorities set by Senator Collins include:

  • the Drug Shortage Shelf Life Extension Act, bipartisan legislation drafted by Senators Collins and Ben Cardin (D-MD) that would order the FDA to extend the shelf life of prescription drugs in limited quantities. According to the FDA, changing the expiration date of some prescription drugs could ease the shortages the United States is currently facing.

  • the Certain Foreign Establishments Registration Act, bipartisan legislation drafted by Senators Collins and Gary Peters (D-MI) that would strengthen requirements for foreign manufacturers of medical products distributed in the United States to register with the FDA.

  • Bipartisan legislation drafted by Senators Collins and Bob Casey (D-PA) to expand reporting by medical device manufacturers to help alleviate potential shortages.

  • the Strengthening the Public Health Workforce Actbipartisan legislation drafted by Senators Collins and Tina Smith (D-MN) that would help restore public health personnel at the state, local and tribal levels to support the COVID-19 response effort.

The managers’ amendment to the legislation also includes a number of important provisions that the SenateWhere Collins is the author of a study on how we can use federal health care programs to reward domestic drug production; ensure that the government storage pilot program complies with national preference requirements in the Buy America Act; and establish a new pilot program to help Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leaders gain hands-on experience that will build their expertise in public health and medical preparedness. The managers’ amendment also includes a provision Sen. Collins worked on with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to establish a new student loan repayment program for infectious disease clinicians.