Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
The potential for an anthrax attack is still a very real and serious threat. The Department of Homeland Security has declared that
Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, and multi-drug resistant
Bacillus anthracis threaten national security.
As biological threats continue to evolve, so must our biodefense capabilities. In the event of a large-scale anthrax attack, federal, state and local partners will need to work in concert with healthcare professionals to mount a rapid response to protect health and save lives in impacted communities. As directed in the
National Biodefense Strategy, the U.S. government is working to enhance preparedness to save lives with medical countermeasures.
Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE), which coordinates Federal efforts to enhance chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats and emerging infectious diseases preparedness from a medical countermeasure perspective, has developed a multi-pronged strategy to prepare for an anthrax attack:
The PHEMCE also considers the potential benefits of having more than one source of a particular product to enhance long-term preparedness and to generate healthy price competition among providers. The PHEMCE has to balance these potential advantages against the increased costs of supporting multiple manufacturers for products that have limited to no commercial markets and the complications that having multiple products pose when developing plans for deployment and use.
The PHEMCE must now focus on sustaining its existing response capability, improving the usefulness of specific countermeasures, and, where possible, reducing the long-term carrying costs of the
Strategic National Stockpile.
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