​​The AACR Call to Action

During the past two years, Congress has demonstrated a strong, bipartisan commitment to medical research by providing the first consecutive, significant funding increases for the NIH in more than a decade. Because Congress has recognized that medical research is a high national priority, the trajectory of federal funding appropriated for this lifesaving work has now turned a corner and is once again headed in the right direction.

We are at a watershed moment in cancer research, and we cannot allow this positive momentum to be lost. During this time of both unprecedented scientific opportunity and increasing incidence and associated mortality of cancer, Congress must continue to provide robust, sustained, and predictable investments in the NIH. Annual increases in the NIH budget, coupled with a funding increase for the FDA in FY 2018 and beyond, will ensure the acceleration of the pace at which we make research discoveries and translate them into advances that will save more lives from cancer.

However, in order for the NIH, FDA, and other vitally important scientific agencies to receive the resources that are essential to make further strides toward defeating cancer and the many other human diseases that afflict so many Americans, it is going to require that Congress negotiate a bipartisan budget deal to raise the discretionary budget caps for FY 2018. The shortsighted and restrictive discretionary spending caps that are in place for FY 2018 as a result of the 2011 Budget Control Act will compromise our nation’s ability to further understand the complexities of cancer and postpone the development of lifesaving therapies for patients.

Continued progress against cancer requires the unwavering support of our elected leaders. Therefore, AACR respectfully urges Congress to:

  • Continue to support robust, sustained, and predictable growth of the NIH budget by providing an increase of $2 billion for NIH in FY 2018, for a total funding level of $36.2 billion.

  • Ensure that funding designated through the 21st Century Cures Act for initiatives and programs, such as the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot and the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence, is fully appropriated in FY 2018.

  • Increase the FDA budget in FY 2018 to $2.8 billion, an $80 million increase above its FY 2017 level, to ensure support for regulatory science and to accelerate the pace of development of medical products that are safe and effective.

  • Negotiate a bipartisan budget deal to raise the discretionary budget caps for FY 2018 and beyond, which would allow our nation’s policy makers to continue to invest in priority areas, such as the biomedical research funded by the NIH.

Congress can help us transform cancer care, save more lives from cancer, spur economic growth, and maintain the position of the United States as the global leader in science and medical research by providing annual funding increases for the NIH, NCI, and FDA that are robust, sustained, and predictable. Most importantly, this will continue to bring real hope to the millions of people all over the world whose lives are touched by cancer.


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