As part of Trump’s budget proposal, he wants to chop $5.8B from the National Institutes of Health, or 19 percent, as part of a spending overhaul the Department of Health and Human Services. The budget calls for a major reorganization of NIH’s institutes and centers, describing the move as a way to “help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities.”
The proposal would also consolidate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within NIH, and it would also mean “other consolidations and structural changes across NIH organizations and activities”.
Life science institutions are horrified.
It seems like only yesterday that Congress was prepared to boost NIH spending by $2 billion — the biggest increase in 12 years.
Here is a round-up of reactions from national and regional institutions.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released a statement estimating that the NIH budget cuts were likely to cut $1 billion from the National Cancer Institute, noting it would be the biggest budget cut to the institution in its history.
Chris Hansen, president of the network said the cuts would be a significant setback for millions of American cancer patients, survivors and their families and would “dramatically constrain the prospect for breakthrough American medical innovation”.
For the last 50 years every major medical breakthrough can be traced back to investments in the NIH. Because of these investments, there are more than 15.5 million American cancer survivors alive today and researchers stand on the cusp of numerous innovative new diagnostic tools and treatments. From new immunotherapies that harness the body’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells to less toxic and more precise chemotherapies and advanced diagnostic and preventive tools.
“These developments save lives and spur economic progress. NIH-funded medical research is conducted in thousands of labs and universities across the country. These grants in turn spawn increased private investment and development. Drastically reducing NIH’s budget would jeopardize our nation’s potential to save more lives while simultaneously risking America’s position as the global leader in medical research.