"In 2004, Congress passed the Project BioShield Act (P.L. 108-276) to provide the federal government with new authorities related to the development, procurement, and use of medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents. However, the government still lacks countermeasures against many of the CBRN terrorism agents determined by the government to pose the greatest threat. Congress is likely to consider whether modifications of these authorities or new authorities would help address remaining gaps. The authority generally referred to as Project BioShield allows the government to guarantee a market for CBRN medical countermeasures. Under this provision, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) may obligate funds to purchase countermeasures that still need up to 10 more years of development. Since 2004, HHS has obligated approximately $3.309 billion to guarantee a government market for countermeasures against anthrax, smallpox, botulism, radiation, and nerve agents."
CRS Report for Congress, R43607
Federation of American Scientists: http://fas.org/