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FDA’s Emergency Powers to Remain in Place

As the Biden administration announced its plan to end the COVID-19 public health emergency this spring, the Food and Drug Administration made clear that its emergency authorization powers will not be affected by the change, according to CNBC.

The change: This week, the Biden Administration announced its plan to terminate the national public health emergencies that have been in place since spring 2020.

  • Declaring these public health emergencies allowed regulators to respond to the COVID-19 crisis on an expedited basis, including through the authorization of vaccines, medical treatments and tests.
  • Termination of the public health emergencies are set for this coming May.

The FDA: The FDA will still be able to authorize medical products such as vaccines, treatments and tests on an emergency basis as required.

The basis: Back in 2020, before the White House declared public health emergencies due to COVID-19, then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar determined the FDA was able to make its own emergency authorizations under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

  • The FDA will be able to rely on the same reasoning to continue making emergency authorizations as needed once the current health emergency declarations are terminated.
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