Obama proposes sharp increase to fight drug-resistant bacteria

By Amy R. Connolly  |  Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama is looking to nearly double the federal funding to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria responsible for millions of illnesses a year, the White House said.

Obama will call for some $1.2 billion in the fiscal 2016 budget to fund research and training programs to deflect so-called superbugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least two million people are infected with drug-resistant bacteria a year and up to 23,000 die as a result of the infections.

"Antibiotic-resistant infections can happen anywhere," the CDC said. "Data show that most happen in the general community; however, most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes."

The funding would be used to speed the development of diagnostic tools and antibiotics and prevent the spread of resistant microbes in health-care settings.

The budget request, which will be released next week, includes $650 million for the National Institutes of Health for research and $280 million for the CDC to monitor drug-resistant bacteria outbreaks.

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