Research Funding and Congress

Innovation in the research world isn’t free, and the National Institute of Health (NIH) knows it. 12 years ago, the NIH could fund about one in three grant applications, but now their funding can only support one in six applications. The funding for the current system simply can’t sustain the needs of the scientific community. Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed the first benchmark for addressing this problem as a piece of legislation. H.R.6, better known as the 21st Century Cures Act, passed in a vote of approval, 344 to 77. Among addressing other measures, the bill would increase NIH funding over the next five years by $8.75 billion. The White House has already voiced support for the bipartisan efforts behind the legislation, and now the bill awaits the approval from the Senate and later the President. Concerns do exist over the specifics of the changes included in the bill, but the overall increase in attention and funding remains a step in the right direction for the scientific community. While topics of the legislation may seem distant and procedural, the direct effects of this bill would enhance our ability as a nation to do research. This much-needed funding would revive and modernize countless areas of medical research, improving our ability to knowledgeably treat and even cure patients.

If you’d like to read more on the topic, check out these links:

Summary of the Proposed Bill

An Interactive Chart of NIH Funding by Institution

An FAQ from a House of Representatives Chairman
Thoughts on the news? Have a topic you’d like us to post about? Leave us your comments on the blog below or tweet at us (@asthmainstitute). We’d love to hear what you think!

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