On August 1, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Defense Appropriations bill, which includes a substantial increase for medical research funding. The legislation provides $200 million, nearly three times more than the funding level for FY 2013, for the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). Historically, when the Defense bill is finalized, resources from this pot of funding have been allocated to a variety of priorities, including the Department of Defense (DoD) Parkinson’s research program.
In late July, the House passed its version of the Defense Appropriations bill, which provides $16 million for the DoD Parkinson’s research program. The $16 million meets PAN’s funding request and is level with funding provided for FY 2013 before sequestration .
Each year, PAN works to secure funding for this national, peer-reviewed grant program that examines how to protect our military from toxic substances, head injury, and other possible contributors to Parkinson’s disease. In addition to helping protect our soldiers, research breakthroughs in prevention, detection, and treatment are immediately applied to the broader Parkinson’s disease community. It is the only Parkinson’s-specific grant program in the federal government. Learn more .
If and when the full Senate passes its Defense Appropriations bill and the House and Senate come together to reconcile the two measures, the increased level of funding for PRMRP in the Senate bill may be an opportunity to seek a higher level of funding for DoD Parkinson’s research. While much of FY 2014 funding will likely depend on how Congress chooses to address the ongoing presence of sequestration, PAN will continue to meet with elected officials and their staff in support of strengthening funding for this critical medical research program.
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Check out our August recess resources  to learn how you can help ensure critical biomedical research funding programs like this one are a priority for Congress.
Date originally posted: August 2, 2013.