Congress Approves Largest NIH Budget Increase in 12 Years

With the recently approved 2016 fiscal year budget, the U.S. Congress will increase its funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to $32.1 billion, representing a $2 billion increase (6.6%) – the largest increase in 12 years.

Specifically, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015 includes:

  • $350 million in new spending for Alzheimer’s disease research
  • $303 million increase for antimicrobial resistance research
  • $200 million in funding for the Precision Medicine Initiative
  • $91 million for programs to reduce opioid abuse
  • $85 million of new funding of the BRAIN Initiative (the project to map the human brain)

The bill also maintains 2015 fiscal year funding levels for numerous blood programs within the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Blood Disorders. The remaining funding will be split among NIH institutes and centers, equating to an approximately 4-percent increase in funding overall.

The American Society of Hematology “applauds this bipartisan action to increase vital biomedical research funding,” according to a news release from the Society.

“This budget signifies the importance that Congress places on biomedical research that saves lives, reduces human suffering, and also creates jobs,” ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, said. “In spite of this fact, overall public health funding remains well below pre-sequestration levels. There has never been a more productive time in research, as our understanding of disease on the molecular level is translating into promising new treatments at an unprecedented rate.”

Sources: U.S. Congress, “H.R.83 – Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015,” December 16, 2015; American Society of Hematology press release, December 18, 2015.