Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent Mpox Public Health Emergency (PHE), ACLA members provided extraordinary leadership and support for the U.S. Government’s response efforts by rapidly developing tests and scaling nationwide testing services. Essential to a robust response is strong public-private collaboration rooted in an appreciation for the critical role that clinical laboratories serve in our nation’s public health infrastructure. While the COVID-19 PHE may have officially ended May 11, 2023, the need for quality COVID-19 testing remains and ACLA members will continue to provide these testing services to communities across the country.
ACLA is engaging with policy makers to share recommendations, informed by the experience and expertise of ACLA members. These recommendations are included in a report, the National Diagnostics Action Plan, which ACLA co-authored with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. The Plan proposes actionable steps in advance of future public health emergencies to optimize the readiness and response of public and private stakeholders in the testing ecosystem.
At the end of 2022, Congress passed several policies from the Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act) that took important steps toward improving some aspects of preparedness, including the provision of new authorities to strengthen public-private collaboration. As Congress undertakes the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) this year, ACLA is advocating for additional advances in our nation’s public health emergency preparedness and response efforts to bring meaningful improvements in our nation’s ability to respond to future pathogens of concern swiftly and meaningfully with quality testing.
These recommendations are also reflected in ACLA’s responses to Requests for Information (RFIs) on PAHPA from the House and Senate issued in early 2023: