What We Are Trying to Accomplish: To continue funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Multiple Sclerosis Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) to help find prevent, treat and find a cure for MS, as well as ensure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has enough resources to meet its goals of protecting the public’s health.
Why It’s Important: The NIH is the country’s premier institution for health research and the single largest source of funding for MS research projects in the world. The MS CDMRP provides additional research funding for research projects focused on MS. Congress determines how much funding these programs receive every year.
The FDA is responsible for ensuring many consumer products are safe to be used or consumed. In relation to health care, they review all drugs and medical devices before they are available to the public. During this review, FDA will determine whether these therapies are safe and effective. Adequate funding is needed to ensure therapies are evaluated in a timely manner so that they can get to patients.
Updates: For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the NIH received $30.1 billion, a small increase from the $29.9 billion it received in FY 2014. Overall, the NIH’s funding level has not kept pace with biomedical research inflation and is insufficient to maintain the momentum needed better treat and cure diseases like MS. For FY 2016, we are advocating for at least $32 billion for the NIH.
For FY 2015, the MS CDMRP received $5 million--the same level of funding it received in FY 2014. The U.S. House of Representatives had approved $10 million for the MS CDMRP but unfortunately this increase was not kept in the final bill. For FY 2016, we are advocating for $10 million for the MS CDMRP.
For FY 2015, the FDA received $2.6 billion, $37 million more than it received in FY 2014.
Congress is currently working on completing the FY 2016 spending bill. They recently passed the Bipartisan Budget Act, lifting restrictive spending caps which may allow for increases for important programs like the NIH. Final funding levels are yet to be determined, but the House and Senate have recommended about a $1 billion increase for the NIH. The House has recommended a $1 million increase for the MS CDMRP. The House is recommending about a $30 million increase for the FDA.