Medical research advocacy group says Trump budget proposal will slow research

President Trump's proposed 2019 budget would effectively freeze funding for the National Institutes of Health at a level that falls below what Congress has proposed for even FY 2018, the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research said this week in a statement.
“The return on investment in the NIH pays a lifetime of dividends in better health and quality of life for Americans, young and old,” according to the statement. “Yet, rather than strengthening the federal commitment to the NIH, the president's FY 2019 budget proposal effectively would freeze funding for the agency at a level that falls below what Congress has proposed for even FY 2018.”

The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research is a coalition of 300 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry. The Ad Hoc Group has one mission: to enhance the federal investment in biomedical, behavioral, social, and population-based research by increasing the funding for the National Institutes of Health.
The statement goes on to say: “Stagnant funding postpones hope for patients across the country and narrows the opportunity for breakthroughs in the biomedical research enterprise. In fact, when adjusting for inflation, the NIH already has lost nearly 20 percent of its purchasing power over the last decade.

Lawmakers in Congress on both sides of the aisle have rallied together to help the agency begin to regain lost ground by boosting the NIH budget in recent years, according to the statement.

“We cannot backtrack now. For the United States to enhance its pursuit of cures – and to continue its global leadership in science and technology – the nation must continue the recent trajectory established by Congress and provide steady, meaningful funding increases above inflation within the base NIH budget,” the organization concludes.

According to Science Magazine, NIH would absorb three Department of Health and Human Services agencies that could later be integrated into NIH's existing 27 institutes and centers.