ASCO Commends Congress for NIH Funding


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Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO

Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO

On March 23, 2018, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, issued the following statement:

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) applauds Congress for its bipartisan support of the omnibus spending bill that significantly boosts our nation’s investment in biomedical research. By providing a $3 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for fiscal year 2018—the biggest NIH funding increase in 15 years—Congress has taken bold action to regain much-needed momentum in cancer research following a decade of stagnant funding for the NIH.

Building on federal funding increases over the past 2 years, the $5.9 billion allocated to the National Cancer Institute, including $300 million authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, demonstrates lawmakers’ sustained commitment to investing in biomedical innovation that will deliver the next generation of cancer cures to individuals with cancer and give hope to the millions of Americans who face a cancer diagnosis each year.

We are also delighted that the spending bill provides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Oncology Center of Excellence with $15 million for fiscal year 2018, a funding level that will enable its full implementation as authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act. This allocation will help ensure that the Center achieves its primary goals of expediting development of oncology drug products using an integrated approach to regulatory review, facilitating communication and knowledge-sharing with stakeholders, and embarking on new and needed regulatory initiatives and deployment of new information technology and data sharing platforms. 

We applaud Congress for providing these critical investments that will help reaffirm the United States’ global leadership in cancer research and continue the pace of scientific advancement and progress in our understanding, prevention, and treatment of cancer. With this major accomplishment achieved, ASCO urges lawmakers to make this the decade of unparalleled support for biomedical research as it turns its attention to next year’s budget.”

For more information on federal funding for cancer research, read ASCO’s Policy Issue Brief on ASCO.org. ■


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