President Barack Obama will request a doubling of funds for fighting and preventing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in his 2016 budget, the White House said Tuesday.
The budget blueprint to be unveiled in February will request $1.2 billion, twice the amount granted by Congress in 2015.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that each year at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States.
“The funding will improve antibiotic stewardship; strengthen antibiotic resistance risk assessment, surveillance, and reporting capabilities; and drive research innovation in the human health and agricultural sectors,” the White House said in a statement.
Of this amount, more than $650 million would go to the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
The goal is to expand US investment in developing of antibacterial and new rapid diagnostics and launch a major effort to characterize drug resistance.
In September Obama signed a decree designed to step up efforts to address the problem of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.