What Does the President’s Request for NIH Mean for Mesothelioma?

white-houseYesterday, the White House released the President’s budget proposal for Fiscal 2014, two months later than the usual release on the President’s Day holiday in February. The delay was caused in part by sequestration and Congress’ slow effort to provide funding for the remainder of 2013. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has strongly voiced its support of increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which houses the National Cancer Institute that runs crucial mesothelioma clinical trails and funds mesothelioma research across the country.

In the President’s budget, Fiscal Year 2014 is funded at $31 billion, a 1.5 percent increase from 2012 funding levels. NIH estimates that it will spend $16.9 billion to support a total of 36,610 research project grants in 2014. If Congress decides to fund the NIH at the level the President has requested, we should expect to see approximately 23 mesothelioma grants from NIH in 2014. This is a triumph for the medical research community as it repairs some of the damage done by sequestration’s five percent cuts.

“The significant new investments this budget contains for the NIH reflect our commitment to furthering the biomedical research that will help create good new jobs and advance the cause of medical science,” Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

The President’s budget proposal sets his priorities for the year, but it is up to Congress to take this proposal and pass an appropriations bill that funds the federal government. The Meso Foundation will continue to follow the appropriations process and keep the community informed.

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