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Our publications keep professionals working across the public, private, and academic sectors informed on the most important developments and issues in health security and biosecurity.

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Developing Medical Countermeasures for Biodefense

Bradley T. Smith, Michael Mair, Gigi Kwik Gronvall, Jason Matheny
Date posted:
March 01, 2009
Publication type:

Biosecur Bioterror 2009;7(1):42-43

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Free on publisher's website

HHS is responsible for researching, developing, manufacturing, and stockpiling the medicines, vaccines, and other medical products, also known as medical countermeasures (MCMs), that will be needed to care for the sick and protect the healthy in the wake of bioterrorist attacks (as well as nuclear, radiation, and chemical attacks) against the U.S. population. The nation currently lacks MCMs against many biological threats. Other MCMs exist only in limited quantities. For example, there are no FDA-approved vaccines or therapeutics to counter an Ebola infection, and no FDA-approved, rapid, point-of-care diagnostics exist for any biothreat agent. These products do not have traditional commercial markets, so private-sector biotech and pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to develop them without significant government support. HHS has thus far determined 8 MCMs are required to defend Americans against biological attacks, with at least 3 more required to defend against chemical, radiological, and nuclear attacks.



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