Just hours before the start of the Iraq campaign last night, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously passed "Project BioShield," a proposal put forth by President Bush to guarantee funding for companies involved in the development of drugs and devices to combat biological, nuclear, radiological or chemical weapons. The act also would accelerate research and development by the National Institutes of Health of new therapies against such attacks and authorize the Food and Drug Administration to make promising treatments quickly available in emergencies. Some provisions of the original bill, including the creation of smallpox-vaccine compensation programs, were held over for a later meeting because the committee could not reach agreement. -- by Tony Fong
Bioterror bill would increase medical research funds
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