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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


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.


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

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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