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Preparedness Reauthorization Act

March 22, 2013

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President Obama last week signed into law the “Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act,” H.R. 307. AHA-supported provisions in the bill reauthorize the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, Medical Reserve Corps and other critical preparedness activities through fiscal year 2018; clarify allowable activities for recipients of HPP funds; and permit national collaboration among HPP-funded entities. “Thousands of hospitals and communities across the country participate in these programs, and because of this participation they now have stronger capabilities and better planning to respond to disasters,” said Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Nicole Lurie. The legislation bolsters the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support rapid responses to public health emergencies by clarifying that even before an event, FDA may issue an emergency use authorization to allow emergency use of certain products as medical countermeasures. The preparedness legislation also grants new authorities to state health departments for more flexibility in dedicating resources to meet critical community needs during a disaster