There Are Many Ways To Fight Cancer. Cutting Funding For Research Isn’t One of Them.

“ASCO and others in the biomedical research community are calling for Congress to increase funding for NIH by $1.9 billion (6.6%) in Fiscal Year 2009 to keep pace with medical research inflation, to reverse the effects of flat funding, and to sustain momentum in biomedical research.”

“Federal Research Funding


Increase Federal Research Funding. Make Your Voice Heard.
The fight against cancer needs your help.

Almost 1.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and 1 American dies of the disease every minute.

But instead of increasing funding to find new and better cures, our nation’s commitment to funding cancer research is waning. In fact, adjusted for inflation, we have about $500 million less for cancer research than we did just five years ago.

Take Action Now. Sign ASCO’s petition to support increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

Background:

The nation’s investment in cancer research is paying off. Cancer deaths are decreasing, survival rates are increasing and treatments are becoming more targeted and with fewer side-effects.

But the United States is in the midst of the longest sustained period of flat funding for cancer research. The budgets for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have been flat for 5 years. Adjusted for inflation (using the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index), the NIH budget has fallen 13 percent since 2003, and the NCI budget has fallen 12 percent since 2004.

Decline in NIH Purchasing Power: 1995-2007

(Source: Association of American Medical Colleges)

(ASCO Ad in USA Today, June 2, 2008 )

Annual Increase of NIH and NCI Appropriations 1998-2008

(Source: ASCO)

After years of progress, funding for NIH and NCI leveled off and actually decreased in recent years. From 1998 to 2003, funding for NCI increased by 80 percent, allowing for major advances in cancer research . Since that period of rapid growth, NCI’s budget has grown by an average of less than 1 percent annually. In FY 2006, NCI experienced a cut of almost 1 percent.

These declines in the value of NIH and NCI funding threaten to erode the extraordinary recent progress made in biomedical research over the past decade, at a time when scientific potential has never been greater.

ASCO Position:

ASCO and others in the biomedical research community are calling for Congress to increase funding for NIH by $1.9 billion, or 6.6 percent, in FY 2009, to keep pace with medical research inflation, to reverse the effects of flat funding and to sustain momentum in biomedical research. ASCO respects the professional judgment of the NCI in requesting a total of $5.26 billion (a $455 million increase over FY 2008 funding levels). ASCO will work to ensure that Congress approves the largest possible total funding increase to support NIH and cancer research. ASCO is also calling for funding increases over the next several years that at least keep pace with inflation to ensure that progress in cancer research continues.

ASCO Links of Interest:

Advocating for Change
ASCO Legislative Activities
ASCO’s Clinical Cancer Advances Report
Current Congressional Activities
Fact Sheet: “The Crisis in Cancer Research Funding”
Timeline: Progress in Cancer Research over the Past Four Decades

Other Links of Interest:

A Broken Pipeline? Flat funding of the NIH puts a generation of science at risk.
Lasker Foundation Papers on Economic Impact of Research Funding
NCI Report: The Nation’s Investment in Cancer Research
Research! America Cancer Fact Sheet
Research! America Fact Sheet: Four Reasons Congress Must Act Now To Support Health Research

[Quoted Source: ASCO Ad in USA Today Calls for Increased Research Funding, American Society of Clinical Oncology E-News, June 10, 2008.]

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