Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 8, 2016

Biodefense Spending and Waste: Impact on Public Health Initiatives

Erin Lynne Kelly ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Adam Zola , Monica Strzalkowski , Benjamin Macmillan and Gavin Macgreggor-Skinner

Abstract

While the threat of bioterrorism carries with it strong emotions of fear and panic, the likelihood-adjusted fatality rates for a horrific bioterror event pale in comparison to that of an infectious disease like influenza. Based on this assumed risk of occurrence, the likelihood-adjusted fatality rate of a bioweapon attack is 900 deaths per year as compared to 36,000 deaths per year for influenza. The FY2016 budget for biodefense was $1.4 million in comparison to $1.2 million for pandemic influenza and emerging diseases. In addition to poor allocation of funds based on actual risk, the biodefense budget lacks government oversight, has poorly defined objectives and unnecessary redundancy. Streamlining the budget and appropriating funds with more emphasis on actual risk would allow an increase in essential areas of public health.

References

American Cancer Society (2016) Cancer Facts & Figures 2016. Atlanta: American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/document/acspc-047079.pdf.Search in Google Scholar

Boddie, Crystal, Tara Kirk Sell, and Matthew Watson (2015) “Federal Funding for Health Security in FY2016,” Health Security, 13(3):186–206.10.1089/hs.2015.0017Search in Google Scholar

Crapo, Mike (2011) “Crapo: Plenty of Room for Belt Tightening,” Web log. Roy Blunt, Senator for Missouri Blog. http://www.blunt.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/3/crapo-plenty-of-room-for-belt-tightening.Search in Google Scholar

Department of the Treasury (2015) National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment 2015.https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/terrorist-illicit-finance/Documents/National%20Terrorist%20Financing%20Risk%20Assessment%20%E2%80%93%2006-12-2015.pdf.Search in Google Scholar

Gostin, Lawrence O (2005) “Finding a Space for the Public’s Health in Bioterrorism Funding: A Commentary,” The American Journal of Bioethics, 5(4):45–47.10.1080/15265160500194220Search in Google Scholar

Klotz, Lynn (2007) “Casting a Wider Net for Countermeasure R&D Funding Decisions,” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 5(4):313–318.10.1089/bsp.2007.0026Search in Google Scholar

Mauroni, Al (2015) “National Biodefense: You’re Doing it Wrong,” Web log. War on the Rocks. http://warontherocks.com/2015/11/national-biodefense-youre-doing-it-wrong/.Search in Google Scholar

PBS Frontline (1998) Plague War: A Report on the Biological Weapons Threat and How the Soviet Union Secretly Amassed an Arsenal of Bio-Weapons. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/plague/sverdlovsk/.Search in Google Scholar

Rhodes, Keith (2007) Project BioShield: Actions Needed to Avoid Repeating Past Problems with Procuring New Anthrax Vaccine and Managing the Stockpile of Licensed Vaccine: Report to Congressional Requesters. Washington, DC: Government Accountability Office. http://www.gao.gov/assets/270/268295.pdf.Search in Google Scholar

Sell, Tara Kirk, and Matthew Watson (2013) “Federal Agency Biodefense Funding, FY2013–FY2014,” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 11(3):196–216.10.1089/bsp.2013.0047Search in Google Scholar

Wilkie, Dana (2004) “Biodefense Squeezes US Science Budgets” The Scientist, 18(5). http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/15504/title/Biodefense-Squeezes-US-Science-Budgets/.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2016-11-8
Published in Print: 2016-9-1

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 27.1.2023 from https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/jhsem-2016-0029/html
Scroll Up Arrow