AACR Thanks Congressional Leaders for $2 Billion Increase for NIH in the FY 2016 Omnibus Spending Package (HR 2029)

Proposal affirms Congress’s strong commitment to medical research

PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) commends the U.S. House and Senate members who have come together in a bipartisan way to make medical research a national priority, and for recognizing the critical role that National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research plays in preventing, detecting, diagnosing, and treating cancer and other diseases. This funding is urgently needed if we are to continue to make the scientific breakthroughs that are vital for improving the prognosis and quality of life of cancer patients.

“The AACR has been consistently advocating for robust, sustained, and predictable funding increases for the NIH,” said AACR President José Baselga, MD, PhD, physician-in-chief and chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “This $2 billion budget increase for the NIH in FY 2016 will allow us to make quantum leaps forward toward improving the health of all Americans, ensure that our nation is able to respond to emerging health and research needs, train the future generation of scientists, and all the while build on our nation’s prior investments in medical research. However, it’s also imperative that the NIH receive a similar funding increase in FY 2017 and beyond.” 

This significant budget increase for the NIH reverses more than a decade of flat funding or outright budget cuts, which has slowly eroded the ability to support promising scientists and research projects. As detailed in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2015, scientific discoveries and their applications in the clinic are poised to change the face of cancer research and cancer care. With the additional funding provided in the FY2016 spending bill, the cancer research community will continue to advance these breakthroughs and deliver new and improved treatments to patients.

“This increase of $2 billion is a significant step toward putting the NIH back on a path of sustained, predictable growth,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “During the past year, we have seen a groundswell of bipartisan support for the NIH on Capitol Hill, and it is important that we continue to build upon that momentum. Now we must turn our attention to ensuring that this becomes the first step toward providing sustained, robust, and predictable increases for the NIH in the years ahead.”