Bush signs bioterrorism bill

President Bush signed a bioterrorism bill into law Wednesday to provide $4.6 billion to improve U.S. defenses against biological weapons.

"Terrorist groups seek biological weapons. We know some rogue states already have them," Bush said. "It is important that we confront these real threats to our country and prepare for future emergencies. Protecting our citizens against bioterrorism is an urgent duty of America."

The bill provides $640 million to develop a U.S. smallpox vaccine stockpile and $1.6 billion in grants to states to improve hospital preparedness and to review the vulnerability of local water systems to attack.

The bill also enhances funding for the National Pharmacy Stockpile and makes potassium iodide more available near nuclear power plants to protect against radiation poisoning.

The legislation also reauthorizes the Prescription Drug User Fee Act through 2007.

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