President Obama asked Congress to increase funding for antibiotic-resistant bacteria research last week, the New York Times reported.

Obama’s administration plans to research new drugs, monitor disease outbreaks and follow the intake of antibiotics to avoid overuse, according to the New York Times.

The plan will span over the next five years and calls for over $1.2 billion dollars, the Washington Post reported.

Health officials warn that the rapidly growing rate of antibiotic resistance may lead to life-threatening illnesses that were once treatable, according to the Washington Post.

Experts applaud the plan’s goal to reduce the use of antibiotics in humans and in agriculture, which they say has contributed to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the New York Times reported.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends to healthcare providers that antibiotics are prescribed only when they are likely to help a patient, can target the specific infection and are used for an allotted time period.