U.S. biodefense spending to increase

U.S. federal biodefense spending will see a four percent increase over last fiscal year, according to a report from the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The report states that this is the third year in which spending has increased after decreases in funding for three fiscal years ending in fiscal year 2008.

Most of the $6.48 billion earmarked for biodefense will be used in programs with several goals, including public health, national security and international security, according to the report.

Approximately 73 percent of the total funds will go to the Department of Health and Human Services, the report states. The Department of Defense receives the second-largest funding amount, at 12 percent of the funds. Seven percent of the funds will go to the Department of Homeland Security, with the remaining funds shared by the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and State, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.

According to the report, $5.9 billion - or 91 percent - of the $6.48 budgeted for biodefense will address a wide-range of health and security issues along with biodefense issues.

The report, titled “Federal Agency Biodefense Funding, FY2010-FY2011,” appears in the peer-reviewed journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science.