Medical Research Update: NIH Funding

One of the priorities of the new Administration in Washington, D.C., has been cutting budgets, including the largest funder of health disease research in the world, the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Trump Administration proposed cutting the NIH budget by about $1 billion in 2017. Instead, Congress passed (and the President signed May 5) a $2 billion increase in NIH funding for 2017. But the new “skinny budget” proposal for 2018 would make the earlier proposed cut even more drastic, reducing the current NIH budget by $5.8 billion.

For a better comparison of the magnitude of research funded by the NIH, all 14 CHC-NE agencies that fund research at the national level (Alzheimer’s Association, American Diabetes Association, JDRF, ALS Association, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, MDA, March of Dimes, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Susan G. Komen for a Cure and National Hemophilia Foundation) raised an estimated $522 million for research in 2014.

The NIH will grant $34 billion in 2017, or 65 times the entire research budget of all our agencies. The successes in research that we have seen (and the resulting decrease in disease incidence and therefore death from chronic illness) would simply not be possible without the large investment in research that only the federal government can make. We encourage donors to connect with the advocacy efforts of their CHC-NE charity of choice. Only together, by mobilizing constituents, can we ensure that NIH funding remains (and increases) so that more cures and treatments are found.