2016-06-15 19:20:29 UTC

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Increase for NIH, NIDDK

June 15, 2016

Bipartisan legislation may not be passed by the Senate until after the election.

The Senate Appropriations Committee overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill for Labor, HHS and Education. The measure includes funding for major domestic spending programs on health, education, job training, medical research and combating our nation’s opioid crisis.

The legislation now awaits action by the full Senate, but final consideration of the FY 17 appropriations bill is not expected to take place until after the November elections.

New Funding Levels
The appropriations bill provides a $2 billion increase for NIH, increasing overall funding to $34 billion. The National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) received $1.891 billion in funding, which represents a 4 percent increase in funding over last year’s levels. Other key areas of increased funding include:

  • $300 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative.
  • $5.43 billion for the National Cancer Institute.
  • $333.4 million for the Institutional Development Award.
  • $463 million to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.
  • $261 million to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.

However, the legislation also includes $7.12 billion for CDC, a decrease of $118.3 million. Funding for the Colorectal Cancer Control Program, which provides screening for uninsured and underinsured Americans, remained level.

Highlighted GI Research
In addition to funding, the legislation also included report language for key areas of enhanced gastroenterology research at NIH, NIDDK, NCI and NIAID, including: 

  • Additional research on the developmental pathway of colorectal cancer among IBD patients. 
  • Recognizing the impact that the deadliest cancers, such as liver, stomach, pancreas and esophageal, have on our society and urging NCI to include such cancers in the Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (MATCH) study and trials. This was specific language was requested by the Deadliest Cancers Coalition, of which AGA is a member.
  • NCI support of liver cancer research across its portfolio, including research into biomarkers to serve as early detection markers.
  • Expanded gut microbiome research on predictors and modifiable factors that can improve early interventions and treatments.  
  • Continued research into the intersection of type I diabetes and celiac disease.
  • Support for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium and a call for NIDDK to expand research on pediatric IBD.
  • Expanded research on IBS, and further exploration of the etiology of IBS and the efficacy of treatments for IBS symptoms.
  • Collaborative research efforts between NIDDK and NIAID on liver disease, including the development of cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer in patients infected with HCV and viral hepatitis.
  • Continued collaboration between NIDDK and NCI on chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer and a focus on precision medicine for targeted treatments in this area.    

The legislation also includes language recognizing the importance of screening adults who may not have benefited from the prevention benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

AGA continues to advocate for increases in NIH funding that are contained in the Senate legislation and will be monitoring its progress closely. 

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