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WASHINGTON -- The National Business Group on Health says it commends Congress for its recent passage of provisions in the defense spending bill that provides $3.8 billion in federal funding to help health officials, first responders, scientists and others prepare for a possible flu pandemic. The bill, which the President signed into law on Dec. 30, 2005, is an excellent first step toward fully funding the Administration's original request of $7.1 billion.Â Because of the importance of preparing in advance to minimize the impact of a potential flu pandemic, the Business Group supports full funding by Congress and hopes that the rest of the $7.1 billion will be funded as the urgency and importance of preparation to avoid a disaster become more obvious to all.
The bill includes critical liability protections for vaccine manufacturers, which will help ensure sufficient supplies of vaccines. Liability concerns have kept many companies from manufacturing vaccines and have resulted in shortages of many vaccines.
Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health said, "We applaud Congress for recognizing the important leadership role that the government must take in preparing for a possible flu pandemic.Â The Business Group worked with policy makers and health officials in Washington to help bring this issue to the forefront.Â The National Business Group on Health is working with its many U.S.-based global corporations to help prepare for the inevitability of the next flu pandemic, to protect the health and safety of all Americans and to plan for severe business disruptions that could occur without appropriate emergency planning."
Source: National Business Group on Health