Lawmakers and Advocates Urge Congress to Complete its Work on Behalf of NIH

On November 2, the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, including COSSA, a member of its Steering Committee, sent a letter to House and Senate leadership thanking lawmakers for their “efforts to ensure that a robust, sustained investment in medical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a high priority.” A coalition of more than 200 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry committed to enhancing the federal investment in biomedical, behavioral, social, and population-based research supported by NIH, the coalition urged Congress to provide at least $34.1 billion for the agency in the final FY 2017 appropriations legislation and “to pass medical innovation legislation that that includes a multi-year Innovation Fund” providing targeted investments for specific multi-year NIH initiatives. The letter further underscored the urgency of completing these tasks by the end of 2016 to avoid “harmful delays” and to allow for the “maximum efficiency in research planning.”

Subsequently, on November 10, Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), David McKinley (R-WV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Peter King (R-NY) coordinated a letter signed by 164 House Members to the House Appropriations Committee urging an appropriation for the NIH of “no less than $34 billion in any forthcoming appropriations legislation.” The letter further states, “If we are serious about breaking new ground in our understanding of complex and life-threatening conditions, then it is absolutely essential we increase funding for NIH.”

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