Biodefense Spending and Waste: Impact on Public Health Initiatives

Erin Lynne Kelly, Adam Zola, Monica Strzalkowski, Benjamin MacMillan, Gavin MacGreggor-Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the threat of bioterrorism carries with it strong emotions of fear and panic, the likelihood-adjusted fatality rates for a horrific bioterror event pale in comparison to that of an infectious disease like influenza. Based on this assumed risk of occurrence, the likelihood-adjusted fatality rate of a bioweapon attack is 900 deaths per year as compared to 36,000 deaths per year for influenza. The FY2016 budget for biodefense was $1.4 million in comparison to $1.2 million for pandemic influenza and emerging diseases. In addition to poor allocation of funds based on actual risk, the biodefense budget lacks government oversight, has poorly defined objectives and unnecessary redundancy. Streamlining the budget and appropriating funds with more emphasis on actual risk would allow an increase in essential areas of public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research


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