The federal government plays an essential role in funding medical research in the United States, primarily through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is part of the Department of Health and Human Services and is made up of 27 institutes and centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. Currently funded at approximately $32 billion, the NIH is the world’s leading supporter of medical research; research that has had an immeasurable impact on all of our lives by enhancing public health, lengthening life, reducing the burden of illness and disability and most importantly, saving lives.
The vigorous pursuit of new breakthroughs in cancer research and biomedical science supported through the NIH, as well as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), saves lives and promises to improve the entire spectrum of patient care, from prevention, early detection, and diagnosis, to treatment and long-term survivorship.
The AACR recognizes that Congress continues to make difficult spending decisions among many competing priorities. However, one of the most important investments our country can make is in cancer research and biomedical science. Our ability to exploit new and exciting findings for the benefit of cancer patients is contingent on a strong, bipartisan commitment from Congress to provide the necessary funding for the NIH and NCI.