March 23, 2017

Indiana Researchers Warily Eye Prospective NIH Funding Cuts

20 March 2017, 06:17 | Rodolfo Wallace

Health Experts Available to Discuss President Trump's Proposed NIH Budget Cuts

UW, Fred Hutch slam Trump's proposed budget, calling it 'major step backward' and 'indefensible'

Oncological societies see President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget proposal as a huge potential setback to health efforts in the fight against cancer.

The budget blueprint released Thursday did not include specific numbers for individual NIH institutes, such as the National Cancer Institute. The NIH had a FY 2016 budget of $32 billion, and in the yet nonfinalized FY 2017 budget the agency would receive $34 billion. "This partisan Trump budget is an absolute non-starter", wrote Sen.

Here is coverage from around the web, pointing to Republican and other opposition to the proposed cuts. As a cancer survivor and advocate I am anxious the reduction in NIH funding of $5.8 billion would represent a significant setback for millions of people like me. Among the changes, the Fogarty International Center, which fosters international global health research under the NIH umbrella, would be eliminated.

Trump's proposal would roll back NIH's 2018 budget to about what it was in 2003. "... To keep Americans safe, we have made tough choices that have been put off for too long".

It is reported that Trump's budget would also eliminate Community Development Block Grants, which the Housing Authority uses to make loans to homeowners so they can fix their houses.

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While a major boost in defense spending is an important priority, said Ryan, a former House Budget Committee chair, "I will say that NIH is something that is particularly popular in Congress". In its strongly worded statement, ASCO contended the proposed cuts would gut the USA research effort and drop the country out of its leadership role in cutting-edge medicine.

When we are on the cusp of tremendous advances in cancer care, the United States can't turn back the clock on research that will benefit millions of Americans with life-threatening diseases and their families. "Failure to nurture the historic USA investment in research places health outcomes, scientific leadership and economic growth at risk", ASCO said. America, a non-profit research and public advocacy group, said in a statement. Indeed, research conducted in USA laboratories has led to treatments and cures for a number of diseases that were once thought to be incurable.

"We really think we're kind of getting close to some breakthrough discoveries on cancer and other diseases", Ryan said yesterday in discussing Trump's proposed cut in NIH spending. ASH said maintaining momentum of these endeavors is of vital importance. If cuts such as those proposed by Trump go through, therapies that are now being investigated in the lab will not be developed into treatments.

University officials noted that it is still "very early in the budget process", but said in a statement it was clear that the proposed cuts would harm research in medicine and health, technology, the environment, the humanities, social sciences and many other fields. Researchers say that work is important because numerous serious health threats faced in the United States originate elsewhere. Investigators often see the payments as a tax that reduces the size of their research grants.

"This is potentially extremely damaging not only for cancer research but also across a number of different areas", he said. From 2003 to the present, NIC funding has climbed from $4.5 billion to $5.21 billion in unadjusted funding.

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