HHS said it has established a new advisory panel to offer guidance on how to prevent, prepare for and respond to the release of chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological agents.
Authorized by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, the new National Biodefense Science Board is intended to advise HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt on trends in the field, and how to manage the release of these agents whether they are released naturally, accidentally or deliberately.
Leavitt has yet to appoint the 13-member panel, which will include four members from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device industries and four from academic institutions. Of the remaining five, one must be a practicing healthcare professional and one must be from an organization representing healthcare consumers.
At Leavitts request, board members will also provide recommendations for research and development. The secretary will also appoint federal officials to support the boards functions, HHS said in a news release. At deadline, a representative from HHS was not available to answer questions regarding when the board will begin its work. -- by Jessica Zigmond