Senate passes bill to prioritize Ebola treatments

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would prioritize drug treatments for Ebola.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) got unanimous consent to pass S. 2917, the Adding Ebola to the FDA Priority Review Voucher Program Act, Tuesday evening.

ADVERTISEMENT
The bill would add filoviruses — the family of viruses that includes Ebola — to the list of tropical diseases that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prioritizes for vouchers to sponsors of human drug applications.

Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinDo candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? The Hill's 12:30 Report Mark Mellman: Parsing the primary processes MORE’s (D-Iowa) bill would also reduce from 365 days to 90 days the advance notice required before submitting a human drug application subject to a priority review voucher.

“We have seen real progress as the U.S. response to Ebola continues, but as the disease rages on in West Africa, it is critical that we continue to use all of the tools in our arsenal to fight Ebola," Harkin said after the bill passed.

Ebola has killed thousands in West Africa and there have been a handful of cases inside the United States.

The bill now heads to the House for further action.

"Today the Senate took a strong step to support that mission by passing this bipartisan bill to incentivize the development of Ebola treatments and vaccines," Harkin said. "I urge my colleagues in the House to also pass this bill quickly and send it to the President’s desk.”

The Senate also passed H.R. 4924, the Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act, which would direct the Secretary of Interior to ratify the Big Sandy River-Planet Ranch Water Rights Settlement Agreement between the Hualapai Tribe and Arizona.

The House passed the measure on Monday, meaning it is now sent to President Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law.

More in Healthcare

Senate GOP hardening stance against emergency funding for Zika

Read more »