"Many potential biological terrorism agents lack available countermeasures. President Bush proposed Project BioShield to encourage companies to develop new bioterror countermeasures. The main provisions of that proposal include: (1) relaxing procedures for bioterrorism-related procurement and peer review; (2) guaranteeing a market through contract authority granted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to buy countermeasures following Presidential approval, funded by a permanent, indefinite appropriation; and (3) allowing the Secretary of HHS to permit the emergency use of countermeasures that have not been approved. S. 15, introduced by Senator Gregg incorporates these proposals. Some of these provisions are controversial. Some critics suggest that biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies will require even more incentives than contained in Project BioShield. Additional incentives being considered by the 108th Congress include protection from litigation because of adverse reactions to the countermeasures, and tax and intellectual property incentives (S. 666, Lieberman). Other options include directly funding development or increasing the scope of existing federal programs designed to encourage technology commercialization. This report will be updated in response to legislative developments."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21507