The following is input submitted to a recent ASTHO Survey on H1N1 Policy Barriers. It may be useful to submit the same input to this DHS/FEMA venue. Thank you.
The nation could benefit from something akin to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), but for medical countermeasures. Such a group (an advisory committee on medical countermeasures or “ACMC”) would follow the ACIP model in structure and methods. The group would meet on a regular basis to review the latest evidence and make or update recommendations on medical countermeasures for biological, chemical and radiological events (natural or man-made). Rather than providers having to search for medical countermeasure recommendations from multiple, possibly not current, and possibly conflicting sources, the ACMC would provide the definitive and most current guidance for the nation. Perhaps unlike ACIP, this group would also evaluate and recommend medical countermeasures not yet FDA approved, but in the latter stages of clinical trials, thereby offering emergency alternatives when there are no, or only inadequate, FDA-approved countermeasures. The group would develop standing EUAs for non-approved products (including those appropriate for use in pediatric and pregnant populations) that could be rapidly issued by the FDA in an emergency. The ACMC evaluations and recommendations would help drive consensus on policy and funding decisions related to research and development, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures.