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CCTS Newsletter | April 6, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andres Bachelet
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Dale Dirks and Dane Christiansen

April 6, 2018


At the end of March, Congress and the administration finally reached an agreement on permanent FY 2018 funding for agencies of the federal government. The $1.3 trillion omnibus package included (and excluded) any number of additional non-spending policy initiatives. Most notable is the absence of the bipartisan individual health insurance market stabilization package, which would have reinstated Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments and established a health reinsurance program to reduce premiums and subsidize insurers. Disagreements over language for coverage of abortion services derailed this initiative. The bill does address some of the president’s priorities on border wall funding and other topics. Other, non-spending poison pill policy riders, designed to make political statements, were removed from the legislation, making the package much easier to pass.


The FY 2018 omnibus package makes significant and meaningful investments in clinical and translational research as well as training and career development activities. Below is a summary of key items.


·         $37.08 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $3 billion over FY 2017.


o   $350.58 million for the Institutional Development Awards program at NIH, an increase of $17 million over FY 2017.

o   Not less than $61.48 million for the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program at NIH.

o   $542.77 million for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program at NIH, an increase of $26.65 million over FY 2017.


·         $334 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality AHRQ, an increase of $10 million over FY 2017.


The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the FY 2018 omnibus package also includes clear guidance and instructions from Congress regarding proper stewardship of dedicates CTSA resources:


Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program.-The bill provides $542,771,000, an increase of $26,651,000, for the CTSA program. The agreement continues to support the program, a stabilization in the number of hubs funded, and a five year grant cycle. The agreement acknowledges the positive changes made to the program in response to language included in the fiscal year 2018 Senate Report, including the increase in communication and collaboration with the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The agreement expects the Director to provide quarterly updates to principal



investigators of CTSA hubs beginning within 30 days of enactment of this Act and to continue the ongoing updates to the Committees. Finally, the agreement expects written notification to continue to be provided to the Committees at least three days in advance of any public release of CTSA grant awards.


The Coalition for Clinical and Translational Science thanks Congress for providing such a notable investment in key research activities for FY 2018. Over 200 community advocates from across the country will be on Capitol Hill on April 19th as part of the Translational Science 2018 Capitol Hill Advocacy Day to thank legislators for their support and to ask them to double down on these funding increases as they craft the FY 2019 appropriations bills.