Center for biosecurity at UPMC analyzes funding for U.S. government biodefense

06/24/04

Center for biosecurity at UPMC analyzes where the money went

PITTSBURGH, June 24 Since September 11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks, the United States government has spent substantial resources on preparing the nation against a bioterrorist attack. To date, however, there has not been a clear accounting for, and analysis of, how civilian biodefense funding has been allocated and spent.

The Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has released a summary and analysis of government spending over the past four years, as well as spending levels projected for 2005. The article appears in the June 2004 issue of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism at www.biosecurityjournal.com.

The article analyzes the civilian biodefense funding by the federal government from fiscal years 2001 through 2005, specifically analyzing the budgets and allocations for biodefense at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of State. Among the findings:

  • The U.S. government has spent approximately $14.5 billion on civilian biodefense in FY2001 through FY2004, with another $7.6 billion in the President's budget request for FY2005.
  • The two agencies primarily responsible for civilian biodefense -- the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- together account for more than 90 percent of budgeted civilian biodefense funds.
  • Although DHHS received a steep increase in funding in FY2002, funding has essentially remained at the same level since FY2003.
  • One-third of the money allocated to DHS for FY2004 is for Project BioShield. In FY2005, BioShield will comprise 85 percent of DHS's civilian biodefense funding.

    According to Ari Schuler, research analyst at the Center and author of the article, funding has grown for most agencies since 2001 but some agencies are now seeing their funding level off or, in some cases, decrease.

    "This report is the first comprehensive accounting of post-September 11th biodefense spending by the U.S. government," said Schuler. "The next step is for the government and independent groups to begin comprehensively analyzing the programs that have been funded by this $15 billion effort."

    "Billions for Biodefense: Federal Agency Biodefense Funding, FY2001-FY2005," by Ari Schuler, appears in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., and available at www.biosecurityjournal.com.

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