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US authorities have established a joint task force to make diagnostic tests more rapidly available, recognizing the potential for public health emergencies to be exacerbated by lack of cooperation. It has been revealed that responses from clinical labs showed that many agencies found it unclear how to implement diagnostic tests once given an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
The FDA issues EUAs for use of diagnostic tests and the CDC provides expertise to respond to such emergencies. The CMS provides guidance to guarantee accurate, reliable and timely results in the nation’s labs.
The new task force, created by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), uses resources from each agency to manage the rapid development and deployment of such tests during emergency situations.
The task force aims to standardize the agencies’ efforts and make implementation more seamless in times of crisis. It will also refine and simplify interagency efforts during EUA diagnostic test implementation, according to homelandprepnews.com.
Threat identification, medical product regulation, laboratory oversight — each is important, but unless working together, it is unlikely any one piece could solve such a crisis.
Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said: “This task force will help our agencies better collaborate to prepare for, and respond to, public health threats, including identifying threats and ensuring the appropriate diagnostics are in place to support efforts in the field.”