CDC funding for blood disorders to address conditions affecting millions with blood clots, hemophilia, and sickle cell disease was $19.9 million in 2010, with less than 5% of this being devoted to blood clot prevention. Shockingly, this overall funding has not steadily risen in response to need and advances that have been made, but rather has been cut by more than 50% in the past four years and is only $9.5 million in 2014.
Prevention of healthcare-associated VTE (HA-VTE) is a stated national priority. It is a Healthy People 2020 public health objective and a key component of the Department of Health and Human Services Partnership for Patients Initiative.
Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) our nation’s leading agency for disease control and prevention, acknowledges that tremendous improvement remains needed in understanding VTE occurrence and advancing and guiding prevention efforts. Current funding to accomplish this, however, falls far too short and is actually declining.
The impact is devastating. Our nation can’t move ahead to resolve the growing public health crisis associated with blood clots with funding levels that are subjecting programs already in place to potential irreparable damage and making needed new programs merely pipe dreams. Despite the huge potential for significant returns on investment in both human and economic terms, the current spending levels at CDC to address blood disorders are neither good public policy nor wise business decisions.
The NBCA calls upon Congress to reduce blood clots and save tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in unnecessary health care spending by supporting:
- FY 2015 funding for the CDC’s Division of Blood Disorders that would return its budget to the 2010 level of $19.9 million.
- A new CDC funding line being established to address VTE-related programs specifically. (Currently, based on past Congressional directives, VTE-related funding was undertaken within the hemophilia budget line. The growing impact of blood clots as a public health crisis now merits more focused attention.)
- Funding under this new line item at a minimum of $4 million per year for the next five years. This is what is required to reasonably address the surveillance, evaluation and prevention needs to reduce HA-VTE and clots from other preventable risk factors.