Yesterday morning I posted about impending budget cuts to FDA for the next fiscal year and posed the question whether or not less money might equate to less enforcement. Ironically, a short time later, the House Appropriations Committee released a partial list of 70 proposed spending cuts that will be included in an upcoming Continuing Resolution (CR) bill for this fiscal year. The CR legislation will fund the federal government for the seven months remaining in the fiscal year.
On the list are some target amounts for the National Institutes of Health ($1 billion), the Centers for Disease Control ($755 million) and the Food and Drug Administration ($220 million).
If you combine those cuts, with what will probably be additional cuts in the fiscal year 2012, when it comes to public health, it raises some immediate questions. For these three key agencies, that means nearly $2 billion that was going to be spent, will no longer be spent, representing public health education and prevention, among other things.
Clearly public health is destined to suffer. The sudden disappearance of substantial funding will create a vacuum and programs that exist today to raise awareness about prevention and treatment may disappear. That, in turn, means that the future role and importance of public-private partnerships is going to increase exponentially. Start planning for that now.