January 21, 2018

White House Wants More Funding to Fight Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

President Obama wants to increase federal funding to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria. The White House released a fact sheet this week detailing this investment to protect public health.

Petri DishThe CDC estimates that every year at least 2,000,000 illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria in this country. These infections cost at least $20 billion in direct health-care costs and up to $35 billion in lost productivity and sick days.

In September 2014, the President signed an Executive Order launching federal efforts to fight the increase in these bacteria, along with the National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

The President’s FY 2016 Budget nearly doubles the amount of Federal funding for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance to more than $1.2 billion. These funds will be used to improve antibiotic stewardship; strengthen antibiotic resistance risk assessment, surveillance, and reporting capabilities; and drive research innovation in the human health and agriculture sectors.

The Budget will allocate more than $650 million to expand the country’s investment in the development of antibacterial and new rapid diagnostics, along with $280 million to support outbreak surveillance, antibiotic use and resistance monitoring, and research and development. It will also give $47 million to the FDA to support evaluation of new antibacterial drugs for patient treatment.

The number of the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program sites will be doubled from 10 to 20 across the country. A Detect Network of Antibiotic Resistance Regional Laboratories will be established, serving as a resource to characterize emerging resistance and identify outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Increased surveillance for antibiotic-resistant zoonotic and animal pathogens will help scientists understand what bacteria will generate outbreaks.

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