Today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education released its proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The proposal calls for approximately $31.2 billion for the NIH, a $1.1 billion increase above FY 2015 levels and $100 million above President Obama’s request for the Agency. The proposal calls for an appropriation of approximately $5.081 billion for the NCI, an increase of over $131 million. Additionally, the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative would be funded fully at the requested $200 million.
While AACI maintains that a budget of at least $32 billion is necessary in order for the NIH to restore its lost purchasing power, the subcommittee is working with $3.7 billion less in FY 2016 discretionary funding than in FY 2015. AACI continues to advocate for a proportional increase for the NCI ($5.32 billion).
Since 2003, the NIH budget has dropped over 20 percent, when accounting for inflation in the cost of biomedical research. The outlook has been just as damaging for the NCI. With excitement mounting about the scientific opportunities ahead and the potential to leverage the resulting advances to improve patient care, now is not the time to retreat from fully funding the NIH and NCI.
The broad portfolio of research supported by the NIH and NCI is essential for improving the basic understanding of diseases and has considerably improved Americans’ health. A sound investment by the federal government in cancer research has led to advances in the understanding of cancer, and to new ideas that have the potential to accelerate progress faster than ever before.
Our nation’s cancer centers continue to make strides in biomedical research thanks to the support of the federal government. Without sustainable and predictable annual budget increases for the NIH, research projects with the potential to discover breakthrough therapies would not be possible.
The subcommittee will convene on Wednesday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. ET to consider the proposal. You may tune in by visiting:
– Jennifer W. Pegher, AACI Government Relations Manager