Every year, MS activists advocate for federal funding for MS research and other programs and services that support people with MS and their families. In 2013 when Congress works on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 year budget, our funding priorities are: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), MS research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
At the beginning of each federal budget cycle, members of Congress can sign on to "Dear Colleague" letters to express their support for funding of particular programs. These letters are then sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees which start working on the funding bills. For Fiscal Year 2014, MS activists took action and helped secure signatures from their members of Congress on Dear Colleague letters supporting funding for the NIH and MS research in the CDMRP. There were no FDA funding letters.
As the federal appropriations process continues, if you are meeting and communicating with members of Congress or their staff, be sure to educate them on the importance of this funding for NIH, MS research in the CDMRP and the FDA. Below are resources to help you.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Issue: The NIH is the country’s premier institution for medical research and the single largest source of biomedical funding in the world. The Society regards the NIH as an invaluable partner to finding a treatment for progressive MS, additional therapies for relapsing MS and a potential cure for the disease. In FY 2012, $115 million of NIH appropriated funding was directed to MS-related research.
Ask to Members of Congress: Support at least $32 billion for the NIH in FY 2014.
Status: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $30.955 billion for the NIH (about a $300 million increase over last year's level) in mid-July. This is not a final funding level, as the House has not yet begun working on its appropriations bill that contains funding for the NIH.
- Updated NIH Leave Behind
- Research!America Fact Sheet
- To see if your members of Congress signed on to the Dear Colleague letter supporting funding for the NIH in FY 2014, click here. If your member(s) signed on, be sure to thank them!
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)
Issue: The CDMRP is funded through the Department of Defense (DoD) via the Defense Appropriations Act. Dollars for the CDMRP are added every year during the budget process by members of Congress, in response to requests by advocates and disease survivors. In total, MS research has received more than $20 million through the CDMRP.
Ask to Members of Congress: Support $10 million for MS research through the CDMRP in FY 2014.
Status: The full House of Representatives has approved its Department of Defense funding bill that contains $5 million for MS research in the CDMRP; this is the same funding level MS received the previous fiscal year. This is not a final funding level, as the Senate Subcommittee on Defense just began working on its appropriations bill.
- Updated CDMRP Leave Behind
- To see if your members of Congress signed on to the Dear Colleague letter supporting $10 million for MS research in the CDMRP in FY 2014, click here. If your member(s) signed on, be sure to thank them!
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Issue: The FDA is the country’s pre-eminent public health agency and is responsible for regulating the country’s pharmaceutical, biotech and device industries. Over the past two decades, the FDA has been instrumental in regulating and approving 10 disease modifying drugs for MS, as well as other drugs that manage symptoms.
Ask to Members of Congress: Support $2.6 billion for the FDA in FY 2014.
Status: The House Appropriations Committee has approved its funding bill that contains $2.485 billion for the FDA. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its funding bill that contains $2.552 billion for the FDA. The final funding level has not yet been determined.