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Kaine, Braun Introduce Bill to Promote Access to Medical Countermeasures

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), both members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the bipartisan Promoting Access to Critical Countermeasures by Ensuring Specimen Samples (ACCESS) to Diagnostics Act, which supports quicker research and development of medical countermeasures, including diagnostic tests, vaccines, and therapeutics, in response to emerging infectious diseases. This bill would require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to issue guidance for public and private sector entities’ quick access to specimen samples to ensure a greater supply of diagnostic tests and other countermeasures.

“I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan legislation to simplify the process to access specimen samples, like COVID samples, resulting in the faster development of lifesaving products — such as tests, vaccines, and treatments — for people in Virginia and across the nation,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “Expanding access to specimen samples is critical to stop the spread of viruses, protect our communities, and help Virginians get back to work.”

“Diagnostic tests have been a critical component to curbing the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, and have enabled Americans to stay safe and continue to go to work, school, and attend social gatherings,” said Senator Mike Braun. “It’s imperative that diagnostic test developers have quick access to viral samples in order to respond to the growing demand for COVID-19 and other diagnostics, particularly as new variants continue to emerge.”

To read the bill text, click here.