Under the project, the government will create a new market for 'bioterror' treatments by purchasing vaccines or therapies from drug companies once they are developed.
The program is designed to try to assure drug companies a federal market for products designed in preparation for a biological attack.
The pharmaceutical industry has said it cannot afford to spend millions researching a product that may never be needed and, if it is, will be distributed by the government agencies.
So the House Committee yesterday set funding for the program at $5.6 billion over the next 10 years.
The pharmaceutical industry gave unprecedented levels of campaign contributions to President Bush?s election campaign.
Meanwhile, three months into the smallpox inoculation campaign, CBS news is reporting the government is doing an about-face and will let states stop administering the high-risk vaccine if they choose to do so.
The government has reported 11 cases of unusual heart inflammation among military troops who got the smallpox vaccine. Three civilian deaths are also under investigation.
Furthermore, CBS is reporting one high-profile death that hasn’t yet been counted — that of NBC Correspondent David Bloom. He died of an apparent blood clot in Iraq — several weeks after getting both the smallpox and anthrax vaccines. Researches have for years claimed there is a link between the smallpox vaccines and blood clots, though the link hasn?t been widely accepted in the medical community.
- Lynne Born, health advocate and activist.
- Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder and President of the National Vaccine Information Center.