Traditional market mechanisms for the development of new vaccines are failing to provide products for responding to bioterrorism. The Department of Health and Human Services should explore new mechanisms to facilitate the development and production of such vaccines. A national orphan vaccine center, perhaps created as a government-owned, contractor-operated facility, might be necessary to bring potential vaccines to the stage at which they can be licensed. Such a center could help coordinate extramural research and development activities among public and private institutions, perform its own research in critical areas, and coordinate and oversee the clinical trials and animal model work on which licensing would be based. A production facility for orphan vaccines would also be needed. (See Chapter 3.)
Information security is identified in this study, as it was by the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure, as a major element in the nation’s vulnerabilities, but no agency or department has the primary mission to foster progress in this field. DARPA and NSF created much of the science base for the Internet and for computer science in general, and other agencies—DOE, DOD, FBI, and NASA in particular—have made important contributions to computer-network technology. But the security of commercial computers is left largely to the private sector, and the present weakness in this area is a consequence of minimal market demand for it in the past. Coordination of agency efforts in this area is important, as is building a federal infrastructure to tap the intellectual and fiscal resources of private industry. (See Chapter 5.)
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