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HHS COVID-19 Relief Efforts Funded in Biden Stimulus Plan

Efforts to secure the supply chain will receive additional attention under new presidential priorities.

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The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will add additional funding support for the Affordable Care Act and supply chain for vaccines and therapeutics.

The new stimulus package features public health provisions that will work to increase COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, strengthen the public health workforce and provide premium assistance for certain health insurance plans, among other initiatives.

“In addition to amounts otherwise available, there is appropriated to the secretary for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to remain available until expended, to carry out activities to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor SARS–CoV–2 and COVID–19 infections and related strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID–19,” the American Rescue Plan states.

The legislation addresses the supply chain vaccines and therapeutics by allocating $5.2 billion dollars to the Department of Health and Human Services to support research, development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics and ancillary medical products used for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 and any variants.

$500 million dollars will be allocated to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review new vaccines and therapeutics and track usages.

The FDA will also leverage funding to facilitate advanced continuous manufacturing for vaccines and their components; resume facility inspections that were affected by the pandemic; review diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics and vaccines authorized to prevent, treat or diagnose COVID-19; and supervise the medical device, therapeutics and vaccine supply chains and address shortages.

The additional funding will bolster President Biden’s February 2021 executive order that calls on HHS to “report identifying risks in the supply chain for pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients and policy recommendations to address these risks,” the document states.

Both the American Rescue Plan and the executive order align with Biden’s stated commitment to address supply chain risks and bolster resilient supply chains.

“We need to make sure these supply chains are secure and reliable. I’m directing senior officials in my administration to work with industrial leaders to identify solutions to this semiconductor shortfall and work very hard with the House and Senate,” Biden said around the order’s signing.

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