Statement on Meaningful Aid for BARDA in Covid Supplemental & PREVENT Markup

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2022 — The Securing America’s Medicines and Supply (SAMS) coalition — a multi-industry coalition of companies with the mission to strengthen the security of the medical supply chain in the United States — today commented on two major policy movements coming before Congress.

Today, The White House sends a letter to congressional leaders about the new Covid preparedness funding in the omnibus bill. SAMS urges Congress to consider the Administration’s request for meaningful aid for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office responsible for the procurement and development of medical countermeasures in the form of a supplemental appropriation. 

SAMS supports additional funding for BARDA, reportedly underprepared to provide treatments and vaccines for future variants.

“We urge Congress to work in a bicameral, bipartisan way to ensure the United States is prepared to deliver therapies for long Covid and vaccines for future strains. Our country needs a flexible and robust domestic medical supply, a renewed and expanded stockpile, and more complex biologics production on American soil. We know of at least a dozen small companies developing innovative COVID-19 therapeutics who deserve partnership with the government – from Kinarus to Centivax and FLOW Pharma and Pardes Biosciences. BARDA’s investments in U.S.-based manufacturing helps create a more resilient supply chain.”

David T. Sanders, SAMS Executive Director

“Since its inception, BARDA has supported 62 approvals, licensures, or clearances of medical products. The NIH primarily focuses on early research and development, while BARDA is primarily responsible for advanced research and development and getting medical countermeasures (MCM’s) to market. It is imperative that a successful operation like BARDA be given the resources it needs, whether from existing funding as claimed in the GAO report, or in new funding coming from Congress.  BARDA needs to continue its work with private industry to develop MCMs, advance innovation and prepare for future public health emergencies.”

Darin Gardner, Vice President, The Conafay Group

Among the provisions in the supplemental requests that SAMS supports are for meaningful resources for BARDA, strengthening the Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and revisions to new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) processes to expedite regulatory review of variant-specific versions of vaccines and treatments.

The coalition also looks forward to today’s Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee markup of the Prepare for, and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and (PREVENT) Pandemics Act.
Senators Murray and Burr had previously released a discussion draft of the PREVENT Pandemics Act and sought stakeholder feedback on the legislation, to which SAMS provided comment in areas including strengthening BARDA, ASPR, securing the U.S. supply chain and preparing for the next pandemic. 

“Two years ago, a global pandemic laid bare the vulnerabilities in the U.S. medical supply chain that led to widespread shortages of drugs critical for treating patients in acute and intensive care settings. SAMS is working with policymakers to cure and secure our supply chain for patients who can’t afford breaks in care.”

David T. Sanders, SAMS Executive Director

About Securing America’s Medicines and Supply

Securing America’s Medicines and Supply (SAMS) is a multi-industry coalition of companies with the mission to strengthen the security of the medical supply chain in the United States. SAMS seeks to drive implementation of legislation and regulation to reward and foster U.S.-made manufacturing of important pharmaceutical products, devices, and supplies. SAMS supports U.S. patients, domestic healthcare security, and U.S. jobs.