Becca O’Connor, Director of Government Relations, Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN)
On February 13, 2012, President Obama released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013 , which runs from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. This budget outlines the president’s funding priorities for the federal government, and publicly sets into motion the annual federal budget cycle. Congress will vote later in the year on the actual funding for the government.
President Obama’s budget recommends maintaining the federal government’s investment in research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funding the NIH at $30.7 billion. While this is disappointingly not an increase over FY2012, the $30.7 billion includes a $64 million increase for the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Forty million dollars of the $64 million is designated for the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN). PAN has been a leading voice of support for both NCATS and CAN.
Much like in his FY 2012 budget, President Obama keeps funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relatively constant, with only a small increase, and proposes to collect more user fees  from pharmaceutical companies to speed up the drug approval process to get drugs and therapies to patients more quickly while maintaining safety. PAN will continue to partner with the Alliance for a Stronger FDA  to track negotiations on annual FDA appropriations.
We anticipate that this will be another challenging budget year, and the Parkinson’s community voice will need to be stronger than ever. PAN will continue to monitor the budget process and call on advocates when voices are needed.
PAN also continues to lead advocacy for the Department of Defense Neurotoxin Exposure Treatment Parkinson’s Research (NETPR) program. This program does not, by tradition, appear in the president’s annual budget. Rather, we’ll work with our congressional champions and call upon you as needed further into the process for support and funding.
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