​Sequestration Would Set Back Cancer Research and Impede Medical Progress

If Congress fails to act, funding for the NIH will be cut by about $2.4 billion or approximately 8% in January 2013 as a result of the automatic across-the-board cuts (or sequestration) required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The estimated cut for NCI alone is $396 million. These cuts would be in addition to any reductions made in the regular funding process for fiscal year 2013. 


A cut of this magnitude would, according to NIH Director Francis Collins, adversely affect every aspect of the agency’s work and would be particularly difficult for first-time investigators. A report by Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education warned that these cuts would mean missed opportunities for scientific discovery that could lead to improvements in human health (136). HHS expressed deep concerns that the cuts would limit the Department’s ability to accelerate scientific knowledge and innovation (137).


Impact of an NIH and NCI Sequester


​NIH 
​NCI
​Current Funding Level
​$30.6 billion
​$5.07 billion
​2013 across-the-board cut (7.8%)
​-$2.4 billion
​-$396 million
​Potential 2013 level
​$28.2 billion
​$4.674 billion
​Potential Reductions in NIH grants
​-2,300
​-300
​Potential U.S. Job Loss
​-33,000
​-5,500
​Reduced economic activity
-$4.5 billion
-$740 million

For information on the current status of NIH funding go to: www.cancerprogressreport.org/FederalFunding.aspx.


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