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CCTS Newsletter | March 4, 2019

Sunday, March 3, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andres Bachelet
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Dale Dirks and Dane Christiansen

March 1, 2019


Congress and the community are awaiting the release of the administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request to Congress. While the request is traditionally released in early February, the partial government shutdown delayed its preparation until mid-March. Over recent years, this document has called for slashing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), eliminating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and implementing draconian oversight of researchers. While the administration has backed-off of serious NIH funding cuts, advocates expect that the proposed budget will continue to call for “efficiency” and diminished resources to that additional funding can be applied to military programs.


The administration’s budget request is a non-binding document and Congress is already working on the FY 2020 spending bills absent of any official requests from the White House. In this regard, 200 community advocates will be on Capitol Hill on March 6th for the Translational Science 2019 Advocacy Day to advocate for key funding priorities. These advocates will raise awareness of the value and importance of the full spectrum of medical research as well as research training and career development activities with lawmakers from nearly every state. Specifically, community advocates will be asking Congress for support on the following issues:


Fiscal Year 2020 Recommendations

·         Please provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $41.6 billion for FY 2020, an increase of $2.5 billion over FY 2019. Such an allocation will continue the important ongoing investment in NIH as well as facilitate proportional funding increases for key activities, including the Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) Program and Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI). 

·         Please support the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) at NIH with timely and notable funding increases for the following key programs:

o   $585 million in dedicated, line-item funding for the flagship Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program for FY 2020, an increase of $25 million over FY 2019.

o   $100 million in appropriated funding for the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) for FY 2020. Currently, NCATS is allowed to use “up to $80 million” for CAN, but does not have any dedicated or additional funds, which puts unnecessary pressure on other research areas. 

·         Please provide the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) with $460 million for FY 2020, an increase of $122 million over FY 2019.

·         Please reauthorize the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and ensure ongoing support so timely and valuable research focused on improving patient care can continue past FY 2019.