Experts applauded a federal spending package passed by both houses of Congress this week that includes millions of dollars earmarked to fight antibiotic resistance and a bill meant to boost investments against neglected tropical diseases.
The bill, HR 1865, passed in the House by a vote of 297-120 on Tuesday. The Senate voted 71-23 in favor of the legislation today.
According to The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the bill includes the following funding to support public health:
- A $636.8 million increase in budgetary authority for the CDC for public health prevention programs;
- A $2 million increase for the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, including $500,000 that will be allocated to funding for innovative research projects;
- $50 million for the CDC’s Public Health Scientific Services to modernize public health data infrastructure; and
- A $50 million increase for the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to prioritize combating antibiotic resistance.
According to newly updated estimates published by the CDC, antibiotic-resistant pathogens cause one infection every 11 seconds and one death every 15 minutes in the United States.
“We are encouraged by increased funding and resources to address antibiotic resistance and infection control,” SHEA President Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH, said in a statement. “Prioritizing funding for research and critical public health prevention programs is necessary to stay ahead of these complex threats and ensure our health care systems are safe for everyone.”
The bill also included the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act, which “directs USAID, through its [Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD)] Program, to continue investments in [research and development] of new tools and approaches to control and eliminate NTDs, as well as to ensure that research breakthroughs are incorporated into existing programming to reach individuals in need,” according to the Global Health Technologies Coalition(GHTC).
The coalition “applaud[s] Congress for recognizing that putting an end to these devastating diseases, which impact the world’s poorest people, will require the discovery of new drugs, vaccines, and other health technologies to prevent and treat these threats,” said its director, Jamie Bay Nishi, MS.
Congress.gov. H.R. 1865. Further consolidated appropriations act, 2020. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1865/text. Accessed December 19, 2019.
GHTC. Federal spending package includes bill to boost fight against neglected tropical diseases. https://www.ghtcoalition.org/news-items/federal-spending-package-includes-bill-to-boost-fight-against-neglected-tropical-diseases. Accessed December 19, 2019.
SHEA. Infectious disease experts applaud spending measure supporting public health. https://www.shea-online.org/index.php/journal-news/press-room/press-release-archives/708-infectious-diseases-experts-applaud-spending-measures-supporting-public-health. Accessed December 19, 2019.
Disclosures: Babcock reports no relevant financial disclosures. Healio was unable to confirm Nishi’s relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.