The AACR Call to Action

Thanks to remarkable, bipartisan efforts in Congress, the NIH budget is back on a trajectory of real and sustainable annual growth following three consecutive years of robust funding increases that were significantly above the annual rate of biomedical inflation. Despite political and budgetary challenges, Congress has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to biomedical research by increasing the NIH budget by $7 billion, or 23 percent, since FY 2015. In addition to making medical research a national priority, both Congress and the administration have acknowledged the need for a strong FDA to ensure that research discoveries, once translated into therapies, are safe and effective, and reach the patients who need them as soon as possible.

We are at a pivotal moment in cancer research, and the positive funding momentum gained over the past three years must continue. During this time of both unprecedented scientific opportunity, and increasing incidence and associated mortality of cancer, the most valuable investments of federal dollars that Congress can make are in support of the medical research enterprise. This can most effectively be done through Congress providing robust, sustained, and predictable annual funding increases for the NIH. Annual increases in the NIH budget, coupled with consistent and sufficient funding for the FDA and the CDC in FY 2019 and beyond, will ensure the acceleration of the pace at which we make research discoveries and translate them into advances and population-based strategies that will save more lives from cancer.

We cannot continue to accelerate progress against cancer unless our elected leaders:

  • Continue to support robust, sustained, and predictable growth of the NIH budget by providing an increase of at least $2 billion for NIH in FY 2019, for a total funding level of at least $39.1 billion.

  • Ensure that the $711 million in funding designated through the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives, including the National Cancer Moonshot, is fully appropriated in FY 2019 and is supplemental to the healthy increase for the NIH’s base budget.

  • Increase the FDA base budget in FY 2019 to $3.1 billion, a $308 million increase above its FY 2018 level, to ensure support for regulatory science and to accelerate the pace of development of medical products that are safe and effective. Specifically, the AACR supports a funding level of $20 million for the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence in FY 2019.

  • Support the CDC Cancer Prevention and Control Programs with total funding of at least $517 million.  This includes funding for comprehensive cancer control, cancer registries, and screening and awareness programs for specific cancers.

By continuing to pursue an appropriations strategy that provides annual funding increases that are robust, sustained, and predictable for the NIH, NCI, FDA, and CDC, and by ensuring the funds available for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative are fully appropriated in a way that supplements the NIH base budget, Congress can continue to help us transform cancer care, spur economic growth, and maintain our position as the global leader in science and medical research. Most importantly, it can help us save more lives from cancer.

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