The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) strongly supports the proposal in the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2016 to double federal funding to combat antibiotic resistance. The proposed commitment of $1.2 billion for drug resistance efforts would address key recommendations from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) 2014 Report to the President on Combating Antibiotic Resistance, including: stimulating the development of new antibiotics and diagnostics, promoting appropriate antibiotic use, and improving surveillance and data collection of antibiotic use and resistance patterns. We urge Congress to fully fund this proposal.
The president’s budget for FY 2016 revitalizes the pipelines for new antibiotics and diagnostics, with over $650 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to jumpstart research and development (R&D) through increased partnerships with academia and industry. Further, it provides long overdue investments in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies to strengthen surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance in humans and food-producing animals. The president’s budget also reflects the need for appropriate stewardship of existing antibiotics as a strategy to preserve their utility.
Each year that passes without increased action on antimicrobial resistance puts further strain on the healthcare system and costs lives. We know that in the U.S., in excess of 2 million people contract antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die annually. The actual numbers are likely far higher given current gaps in our surveillance capabilities. Additionally, greater than $20 billion in increased healthcare expenditures are attributed to these infections each year.
In addition to new funding, we urge the president to work closely with Congress to enact critical legislation, such as the Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act, S. 185, and the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act, awaiting reintroduction in the House of Representatives, to speed patient access to the most desperately needed antibiotics; and tax credits to spur antibiotic and diagnostic R&D.
IDSA urges the administration and Congress to place a high priority on antibiotic resistance and the full range of threats posed by infectious diseases. The ongoing Ebola outbreak underscores the need for sustained investments in biomedical research and public health infrastructure – we cannot wait until disaster strikes to act. The budgets of the NIH and CDC have failed to keep pace with inflation over the last decade. We urge that FY 2016 appropriations reflect a new course in support of the health and security of the public.
Source: Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)