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National Brain Tumor Society Cheers Research Funding Increases in 2018 Funding Bill

2018-03-23

Today, the budget and appropriations (spending) bill, known as an “omnibus,” for Fiscal Year 2018 was passed by Congress and signed into law. This bill, officially known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018,” will fund the government and all its agencies and programs for the remainder of the 2018 Fiscal Year, which runs until September 30th, 2018.

BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS:

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest funders of brain tumor research in the world, received a $3 billion increase — a 9% increase over FY17 and its largest single-year percentage increase in 15 years.
  • The National Cancer Institute, the primary institute within the NIH that provides brain tumor research funding, received a total of $5.9 billion, which includes an increase of $275 million to its base budget, as well as an additional $300 million in funding for the 21st Century Cures Initiative, including the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot program.
  • The Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program, part of its Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, received a $20 million increase over FY2017 ($80 million vs. $60 million), and includes brain cancer as well as pediatric and AYA brain tumors as some of the few topics eligible for research funding through the program.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is vital to review and approve potential new brain tumor treatments, received $5.1 billion — $483 million more than FY17.

The following is an official statement from National Brain Tumor Society’s Chief Executive Officer, David F. Arons, JD:

The omnibus is full of good news for advocates of brain tumor research funding. Virtually every federal agency, institute, and program that is critical to researching and approving potential new treatments for brain tumors will see significant increases in their budgets for the remainder of the 2018 Fiscal Year (FY18). Achieving such increases was our principal legislative goal in 2017-2018, and we are immensely grateful for the funding levels provided through the omnibus, which in some cases are even greater than was our appropriations request. For this, we must applaud the responsiveness of Congress and thank its members for delivering hope for brain tumor patients, survivors, and care partners.

Let there be no doubt that this funding has very real potential to produce tangible benefits for patients with brain tumors, as well as those of other devastating diseases. As a recent report found, each of the more than 200 drugs approved in the U.S. between 2010 and 2016 was supported by scientific research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH has already made crucial contributions to brain tumor research and drug development from its clinical trial consortiums and The Cancer Genome Atlas’ glioblastoma project.

The welcome funding increases are also a testament to the unrelenting efforts of our ever-growing base of volunteer brain tumor advocates from across the country who’ve taken part in NBTS Action AlertsHead to the Hill, and other opportunities to advocate for more research funding. Together, we will celebrate this success and look to build upon it in the coming years.

It is heartening to see Congress demonstrate a bipartisan commitment to medical research funding and the acknowledgment that with ample resources and determination, American has the ability to eliminate suffering from serious illnesses, like brain tumors.”

 

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