IDSA Applauds President's FY 2012 Budget on Infectious Diseases Programs

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) says it applauds President Obamas fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget, which makes needed strategic investments to strengthen key U.S. public health and research initiatives. The IDA released the following statement:

"The presidents budget will assist in further strengthening our nations capacity to prevent, diagnose, and treat an ever-increasing number of infectious diseases threats. Now, the Society calls upon Congress to endorse the presidents proposal and bolster funding for U.S. and global infectious diseases research and public health activities through the nations leading federal health agencies.

"The presidents budget proposal supports critically needed infectious diseases research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), especially at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). An analysis published just this month in the New England Journal of Medicine underscores the important benefits government-supported research has had in addressing infectious diseases threats and in improving public health [i]. This important research also drives economic development in communities across the country.

"Investments proposed for critical infectious diseases programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will help strengthen surveillance and control programs to protect Americans from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, allow states to continue to screen for infections such as HIV and viral hepatitis, and allow more Americans to receive immunizations against many life-threatening diseases. We are disappointed, however, that the budget proposes a decrease in domestic tuberculosis (TB) funding at a time when multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a serious threat. Additionally, while the budget talks about strengthening CDCs antimicrobial resistance activities, a specific funding amount for the program is not specified. As CDC has said, antimicrobial resistance is one of the worlds most pressing clinical and public health problems; thus, it is essential that funding for this program be significantly increased.

"We need a strong Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that innovative infectious diseases products are evaluated and approved expeditiously. Such reviews require a highly skilled review staff that understands urgent clinical needs as well as a greater emphasis on regulatory science. With these critical needs in mind, the presidents budget properly invests in FDAs regulatory science and countermeasures initiative. These efforts will speed the approval of new medical countermeasures, including novel antimicrobial drugs, which are critically needed to respond to current and future infectious outbreaks.

"Finally, IDSA supports the $765 million proposed for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), including $100 million to create a strategic investment entity to provide financial and business support to companies that develop new antibiotics and other medical countermeasures. The proposed funding will ensure the availability of resources throughout the advanced stages of development and give needed flexibility for BARDA to partner effectively with industry.

"IDSA looks forward to working with the administration and Congress to move forward on this budget that invests wisely in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of life-threatening infectious diseases."