On Feb. 28, U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley), Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) introduced H.R. 6019, the bipartisan Cure the Coronavirus Act, legislation to encourage the rapid innovation and approval of a treatment to prevent or cure COVID-19.
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases and 30 deaths in the U.S., including cases in New York, California and Washington.
“The Coronavirus is now an international public health crisis,” Jeffries said. “Congress must do the most we can to reduce the regulatory hurdles for discovering and launching a new drug or vaccine that can treat [COVID-10] before more lives are lost.”
“We need to take immediate and decisive action to combat the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus,” Cárdenas said. “Thousands have died and we are now seeing dozens of cases across the United States including in my home state of California. While Congress appropriates funds to address this epidemic, we must also do what we can to remove unnecessary red tape and reduce bureaucratic walls that will delay research into drugs that may save lives.
To date, there are no vaccinations or drug products to treat the coronavirus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration operates a tropical disease priority review voucher program that awards vouchers for expedited review of drugs that treat or prevent certain threatening infectious diseases. The current list of tropical diseases for which a voucher can be attained includes the Zika virus, Ebola, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Cure the Coronavirus Act would add COVID-19 to the list of tropical diseases eligible for receiving expedited review. The U.S. is respected for being a global leader in biomedical research and innovation and is often looked toward to find cures and treatments to end global public health emergencies.
A genetic study of the virus indicated that it may have been spreading undetected for more than six weeks in Washington state, making the rapid development of a vaccine and treatment of paramount importance.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Leave a Reply