Recognizing that our national and global health security can be strengthened by containing diseases or limiting their spread, the Office of Pandemic Threats (PET) within the Office of Global Affairs (OGA) works at the domestic-international interface by collaborating with national and international partners to develop policies and plans to improve coordination and facilitate the provision of assistance during public health emergencies with both domestic and international implications.
Through a multidisciplinary approach, PET designs and coordinates implementation of solutions to a wide range of complex challenges (e.g., legal, regulatory, logistical, policy, ethical, financing) that hinder the ability of the United States to respond effectively and provide critical assistance during health emergencies, especially those related to global sharing of medical countermeasures and biological samples during emergencies.
U.S. Policy Frameworks for the Provision of International Assistance during Emergencies
The Office of PET leads coordination of efforts under a series of policy frameworks that were developed to guide Departmental and cross-governmental work during public health and medical emergencies.
The Policy Framework for Responding to International Requests for Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures from HHS Stockpiles outlines the processes and criteria by which the U.S. Government addresses requests for medical countermeasures (MCMs) from international partners. The Office of PET co-leads the International Sharing of Medical Countermeasures Policy Group (ISMPG), an interagency group that convenes on an emergency basis to analyze requests and develop recommendations for U.S. action based on the Framework.
The USG Framework for the Rapid Sharing of Biological Material Related to Non-influenza Pathogens with the Potential to Cause a Public Health Emergency of International Concern describes the process by which U.S. Government Departments and Agencies jointly identify, obtain, and coordinate distribution of relevant biological material, which includes a standard material transfer agreement (MTA) to support the rapid and open sharing of biological materials for public health emergency response purposes. The Office of PET co-leads the interagency U.S. Sample Sharing Working Group (SSWG) that leads the operationalization of the Framework during emergencies, including recommendations for when to activate and deactivate use of the standard MTA and discussions of how best to prioritize distribution of scarce materials.