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Keep up to date with the evolving world of government bidding with tips, best practices, trends, research and observations. Let BidNet's knowledge and experience work for you.

How the Federal Government is Raising the Stakes in the Fight against Deadly Diseases and Bioterrorism


How the Federal Government is Raising the Stakes in the Fight against Deadly Diseases and Bioterrorism

In 2014, many of us watched or read the news stories about the outbreak of Ebola virus that devastated Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and other West African countries. In the United States, health authorities were aware that this deadly disease was affecting many people in Africa, and that outbreaks were costing thousands of lives, but few people in North America considered it a danger because we hadn’t yet experienced an outbreak on our shores. That all changed last year, when our own citizens started coming home from West African nations infected with Ebola. A few American citizens lost their lives, but others were able to recover. Why was that? The answer is that in America, we are fortunate to have access to clean water, effective sanitation systems and medical care, all of which prevent the spread of deadly diseases. In addition to these vital pillars of public health, American companies have the ability to produce effective vaccines and distribute them quickly to those who are at risk of infection.

Types of Medical Bid Opportunities to Look For

Federal agencies spend millions of dollars to prevent outbreaks of deadly viruses like Ebola, with much of this funding allocated to the development of vaccines to fight against the spread of such viruses. Agencies including the DoD, FDA, CDC and NIH all solicit bids for various types of medical research, such as the development of vaccines and other medications, as well as processes and equipment to improve testing, the evaluation of drugs and treatments, and clinical trials. As well, public health initiatives often encompass related areas of spending, including for medical supplies, IT resources and training. This funding also contributes to the research, development and preparation of bio-defense measures for the fight against bioterrorism, which endeavors to protect people from agents such as Anthrax, Smallpox, Tularemia, Botulinum and Ricin, all of which could be distributed through our water systems, the air, our food supply or via person-to-person contact.

The CDC and NIH Spend Billions of Dollars Annually on Medical Bid Opportunities

The CDC alone publishes more than 13,000 contracts every year and spends $5 billion to fulfill these contracts; the National Institute of Health (NIH) also spends almost $30.3 billion annually on medical research.[i] In 2014, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the NIH, awarded seven different research contracts to “Discover and characterize new adjuvants, or substances formulated as part of vaccines to enhance their protective ability.”[ii] These contracts could be worth up to approximately $70 million over a five year term.

The Threat of Infectious Diseases & Bioterrorism is Creating More Bid Opportunities

With the threat of infectious disease and bioterrorism on the rise, federal agencies are focusing on acquiring products and services to fight against these threats. The two following contracts and awards are perfect examples of what the government is working on to support the fight against these threats…

  1. The department of Health and Human Services awarded a contract worth $12 million for the advanced development of an experimental Ebola drug, which includes manufacturing and conducting related studies. The contract is for a term of 18 months but could be extended up to another year and could total approximately $35 million. [iii]
  2. The Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a modification to a current contract on behalf of the Army for the research, development and manufacture of medical countermeasures to counter chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives attacks against military and civilians. The award was worth $43,249,906. [iv]

As you can see, there are many lucrative opportunities available for companies in the medical research and development fields that are looking to work with federal agencies. Today, we live in a world where the fear of bioterrorism and infectious disease is constant, but thankfully advances in technology and science are allowing researchers and scientists to develop effective vaccines, medications, and other countermeasures to fight against such threats. Considering the current climate of threats, you will likely see more and more bids for these types of products and services being posted on a daily basis by federal agencies and branches of the military.

Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com



[i] n.p. “NIH Budget.” NIH. 29 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 July 2015

[ii] n.p. “NIH Awards Seven New Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery Contracts.” NIH News – NIAID. 29 Sept. 2014 Web. 10 July 2015

[iii] n.p. “HHS Contracts to Develop New Ebola Drug.” HHS.gov. 31 Mar. 2015, Web. 10 July 2015

[iv] n.p. “Contracts.” U.S. Department of Defense. 29 May 2015. Web. 14 July 2015

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