Congress Approves NIH US$ 2 Billion Boost in Final 2019 Spending Bill

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According to an article published in the journal Science the Congress has approved a $2 billion raise for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a 2019 spending

The NIH was approved a substantial increase for the fourth year in a row after more than a decade of flat budgets. The 5% boost matches the proposed spending level of the senate and surpasses a US$ 1.25 billion increase in a draft bill passed by the House. The U.S government had requested US$ 34.8 billion for the fiscal year that begins 1 October.

The final bill funds the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is a parent agency of NIH. The approval matches the amounts, which the Senate measure had tagged for NIH research in specific areas including US$ 425 million more for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The amount for this segment totals US$ 2.34 billion. The funding has US$ 100 million increase for the cancer moonshot, which totals $400 million and US$ 86 million more for the All of Us precision medicine study that totals US$ 376 million.

The total funding now has amounted to US$ 39.1 billion. However, the bill does not include the government’s request to fold three HHS agencies into NIH that includes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Moreover, the bill does not include a provision in the House measure that was proposed to ban NIH from funding research using fetal tissue from elective abortions. According to Congressional Quarterly, this is the first time in 22 years that Congress has approved a bill funding HHS prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. The bill was dubbed as ‘minibus’ as it combines funding for HHS and the Department of Defense. The bill will be passed to both the House and Senate for final approval. The article was published in the journal Science on September 14, 2018.

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