Biowarfare and Health IT: Spoiling Brand USA
Opinion: The government's lack of support discourages companies from investing in biosecurity and health information research. (CIOInsight.com)Market-based solutions require a market. But this market need not be simply the average consumer. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has tried to stimulate industry investment in medicines for the developing world by guaranteeing a market for resulting products. The understanding is "If you build it, I will buy." The government has done the same for biosecurity and, to a much lesser degree, health information technology. When last years BioShield Act passed, it promised to set aside $5.6 billion over ten years for the government to purchase vaccines and other products to protect citizens from biowarfare attacks. Some pundits predicted that the guarantee of funds would propel plucky start-ups into the business of foiling terrorists. Several months on, that dream has not just failed to materializeits been thwarted, at least according to several companies, including San Diego-based Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Senate leaders introduce bills asking for up to half a billion dollars a year for health IT. Click here to read more.