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House Committee Members Investigate $433M HHS Contract To Purchase Smallpox Drug

“Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are looking into a $433 million contract awarded by the Health and Human Services Department to purchase a yet-to-be-approved smallpox drug” known as ST-426, CQ HealthBeat reports. “The lawmakers raised questions about several issues, including the cost of the contract”; “asked for evidence supporting the assumption that the [FDA] will approve the ST-426, which was one of the requirements of the contract”; and “requested documents describing the actual threat of smallpox, the cost of the contract, and the decision to award it” by January 11, the news service notes (Ethridge, 12/21).