Hearing set to determine if the U.S. will be better prepared for next year’s flu season

U.S. Senator Larry Craig Larry Craig has announced today that the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 at 2:30 p.m. titled “Liability, Licensing and the Flu Vaccine Market: Making Decisions Today to Prevent a Crisis Tomorrow.” It will be held in room 562.

The hearing will center on the United States level of preparedness for next year's flu season, contingency plans to address another possible shortage in 2005, and a discussion of issues that must be addressed in order to increase vaccine production in the United States.

In addition to an update from CDC and FDA, the Aging Committee will hear business perspectives on the flu vaccine market, including regulation, investment and manufacturing opportunities and pitfalls.

According to the National Institute of Medicine, in 1967 there were 26 companies which manufactured flu vaccines for the American market. This year there are only three companies which manufactured flu vaccines for the U.S. – and two of those companies are located in England.

Tuesday’s hearing will be webcast under the “Hearings” section of the Aging Committee’s website and available for viewing later at http://www.senate.gov. Prepared witness testimony will be available on that website once the hearing begins. An audiocast of the hearing may also be available – during the hearing only – on the C-SPAN “hearings” website, located at http://www.capitolhearings.org.

PANEL I:

Lester M. Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D, Acting Commissioner Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD

Mitchell L. Cohen, MD, Director, Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

PANEL II:

Peter Paradiso, Ph.D., Vice President for New Business & Scientific Affairs, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, PA

Leighton Read, MD, Alloy Ventures, Palo Alto, CA

Frank A. Sloan, Ph.D., Center for Health Policy, Law and Management, Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC

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