Statement by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley on Funding Increases for the National Institutes of Health in FY16
As House appropriators debate the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget for FY16, we urge them to consider the number of health threats like cancer, Alzheimer's, ALS, mental illness, antibiotic resistant bacteria and much more that continue to claim millions of lives and stall economic growth. A 10 percent increase for the NIH in FY16 would be an important step forward in providing the resources necessary to put many of these deadly and disabling conditions in the history books. This boost would allow the NIH to meaningfully increase the number of highly promising research proposals it funds, accelerating the pace of discovery, development and delivery. Without a fresh bolus of support, and the national commitment it represents, more young scientists will be permanently discouraged from working in science, and other nations will all too soon surpass the U.S. in leadership of the life sciences.
Research!America recognizes that sequestration heightens the challenge facing policymakers as they pursue increased funding for medical innovation. However, the solution is not acquiescing to flat funding, it is federal action to eliminate sequestration. The 2011 Budget Control Act continues to maintain a chokehold on U.S. policymaking that impacts the health and security of our nation. We strongly urge this Congress to summon the will to eliminate sequestration and allow science and innovation to reach their full potential. Recent polls show that a majority of Americans agree that basic scientific research that advances the frontiers of knowledge is necessary and should be supported by the federal government, even if it brings no immediate benefits, and majorities affiliated with both parties, as well as Independents, want Congress to act now to assure patients can benefit from new treatments and cures.
Patients and their families are counting on Congress and the administration to re-energize our research and innovation ecosystem to ensure that new therapies and cures become a reality.