NIH Needs Substantial Funding Increase to Remain Competitive, says PAN CEO

Underinvestment in Biomedical Research Puts America’s Health At Risk

June 14, 2012
The following is a statement from Parkinson’s Action Network CEO Amy Comstock Rick:

“Today, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recommended only a modest budget increase instead of funding the NIH at a level which would allow it to keep pace with inflation, encourage innovation, and strengthen local economies in the cities and towns across America where NIH-funded research happens.  The biomedical research and patient advocacy communities came together to recommend Congress and the president fund the NIH at a minimum of $32 billion for Fiscal Year 2013.  While we appreciate the modest increase the Senate committee provided, it is not enough.

“A Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 funding level of $30.723 billion--an increase of $100 million above FY 2012--will not allow the NIH to remain a global leader in research and development.  NIH funding over the past nine years has not come close to meeting the rate of inflation, putting at risk biomedical research innovation and taxpayers’ health and well-being.  Federal investment in biomedical research not only helps encourage private sector growth and investment, it also strengthens our nation’s long-term health.  As our population ages, more people will be diagnosed with diseases like Parkinson’s, and without strong federal investment in the fight for better treatments and cures, the burden only worsens.

“On behalf of the Parkinson’s community, we call on Congress to take a good hard look at how investments in NIH can have a broader impact across the country and around the world, and fund the NIH at the highest level.”