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Federal Biodefense Spending Reduced

Analysis Reveals Most of the Money Goes to Programs with Multiple Goals

JUNE 11, 2012 – Baltimore, MD – For FY2013, President Obama’s proposed budget for programs focused solely on civilian biodefense totals $574.2 million, and the budget for programs with multiple goals and applications, including biodefense, is $4.96 billion, for an overall total of $5.54 billion. Thus, 90% of the overall biodefense budget targets programs that promote public health, health care, national security, and international security, according to a report from the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC published ahead of print in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science (

On the surface, this year’s budget figures appear to indicate that proposed funding for overall civilian biodefense in FY2013 is flat compared with FY2012. However, the Center’s analysis shows that this is an artifact of a change in the budgeting process and that proposed funding for a number of key biodefense programs has actually been reduced. In addition, some biodefense programs have been consolidated with other programs into larger line items (eg, chemical programs), and large cuts have been proposed to several existing programs.

The largest piece of the biodefense pie, $3.96 billion (72% of the total) has been proposed for the Department of Health and Human Services, but the CDC biodefense budget will actually decrease by $54 million due to cuts to the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement grant program and the Strategic National Stockpile.

The Department of Defense, which would receive 15% of the overall biodefense monies, has seen its biodefense budget cut by 13% over the previous year as a result of the elimination of some basic and applied research from its biodefense programs.

The Department of Homeland Security has a proposed 18% increase ($56.6 million) above FY2012 estimated levels. However, these levels represent a reduction in funding from actual FY2011 levels and a 29% decrease from levels proposed for FY2012 in last year’s budget. DHS has eliminated its medical surge grants, and FEMA’s Regional Catastrophic Event Planning program is unfunded.

The report, titled “Federal Agency Biodefense Funding, FY2012-FY2013,” by Crystal Franco and Tara Kirk Sell, appears in the June 2012 issue of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. ( The article is available free online at


Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, published quarterly in print and online, covers topics such as bioscience, medical and public health response, infrastructure and institutions, international collaborations, agroterror/food safety, and citizen response and responsibility in all matters related to national and international biosecurity. It provides an international forum for debate and exploration of the many key strategic, scientific, and operational issues posed by biological weapons and bioterrorism.

The Center for Biosecurity is an independent, nonprofit organization of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) whose mission is to strengthen national security by reducing the risks posed by biological attacks, epidemics, and other destabilizing events, and to improve the nation’s resilience in the face of such events.



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