Late last year, as the fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations
bill was being finalized, a bipartisan majority of members
of Congress called for a significant funding increase for the
NIH. The result was a $2 billion budget increase for the NIH
in F Y 2016, the agency’s first significant annual funding boost
in more than a decade.
During Senate debate on this year’s (F Y 2017) appropriations
bill that provides funding to the NIH, Senator Roy Blunt (
R-MO), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related
Agencies, stated, “Last year, I made clear that sustained funding
was as important as the increased investment. A pattern begins
in the second year, and we have seized the opportunity this
year to begin a pattern of increases for the NIH.” Chairman
Blunt backed up his words by proposing another $2 billion
funding increase for the NIH in F Y 2017.
The AACR is supportive of Senator Blunt’s statement and
action in his role as Subcommittee Chairman, especially
because of the unprecedented scientific opportunities that exist
today to improve the way we prevent, detect, diagnose, and
treat cancer. Robust, sustained, and predictable investments in
medical research, coupled with comparable funding increases
for the FDA, will accelerate progress against cancer at this
critical time in the cancer field.
The AACR also applauds Vice President Joe Biden’s
comprehensive proposal for preventing cancer and accelerating
the discovery of new cancer treatments through the National
Cancer Moonshot Initiative. This timely initiative has
galvanized the cancer community and sparked a renewed
dialogue on how we can speed the pace of progress for the
benefit of all patients with cancer. Working together, we can
capitalize on this unique moment in cancer research to harness
the extraordinary knowledge obtained through past federal
investments like the Human Genome Project, and allow for
the translation of this information into strategies to prevent,
detect, and treat cancer and a myriad of other diseases.
Therefore, the AACR respectfully urges Congress and
the Administration to:
• Support the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and
Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Subcommittee’s FY 2017 bill, which proposes to provide
an increase of $2 billion for the NIH in FY 2017.
• Finalize a Senate version of the House-passed 21st Century
Cures Act that includes crucial funding for the NIH to
support the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative and
other important strategic research initiatives.
• Support an FDA budget in F Y 2017 of $2.85 billion, $120
million above its FY 2016 level, to ensure support for
regulatory science and the timely approval of therapeutics
that are safe and effective.
• Readjust the discretionary budget caps for F Y 2018 and
beyond, which would allow our nation’s policymakers to
continue to provide robust, sustained, and predictable
funding increases for the NIH, NCI, and FDA in future years.
By taking such actions, we will improve our nation’s health,
sustain our leadership in cancer research and biomedical
science, and spur our innovation-based economy.
CALL TO ACTION
Today, cancer is the leading cause
of death worldwide. And that’s only
expected to increase in the coming
decades—unless we make more
progress today. I know we can.