Increased funding for biomedical research is one of MDA’s top policy priorities. Biomedical research is necessary to find treatments and cures for diseases such as muscular dystrophy, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), spinal muscular atrophy, and all others under MDA’s umbrella. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the leading federal entity in biomedical research and is the largest source of funding for biomedical research in the United States. The scale and scope of what the NIH can do is unparalleled, and that is why MDA, members of Congress, researchers and advocates support the effort to increase funding for NIH during the federal budgeting cycle.
NIH funding has become a bipartisan mission as members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have come together to champion the cause. Together Congress is carrying the message that treatments and cures are essential and that funding for NIH must be sustained and robust to meet this important need. Beginning in 2016, Congress allocated an additional $2 billion for NIH in FY16—marking the largest funding boost for NIH in more than a decade. The momentum has continued this month as Congress again recognized the positive impact that NIH has on our nation’s economy, research institutions and drug development spaces and approved an additional $2 billion increase to the NIH—a total budget of $34.1 billion for FY17.
MDA thanks every lawmaker that supports sustained and robust increases for biomedical research as they help ensure that good science does not go unfunded. We also appreciate MDA advocates—including families and researchers — who have worked tirelessly this year to urge Congress to increase NIH funding and to keep biomedical research a bipartisan priority.
While the current Administration’s budget released on May 23 requests a funding cut for NIH of $7.2 billion (21% below current levels), MDA remains committed to sharing with Congress and the Administration the many reasons why increased funding is critical to developing therapies for neuromuscular disease.
With four new drug approvals for diseases—ALS, DMD and SMA—under MDA’s umbrella in the past year and with a robust drug development pipeline, never before has biomedical research held so much promise for so many—and we must continue to work together to ensure that funding for research has bipartisan support. Programs that fund research should continue to grow, which is why MDA is asking for an additional $2 billion increase for NIH in the FY18 budget process.
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