The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is calling on Congress to continue their bipartisan support for cancer research. Robust, sustained, and predictable funding growth for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are vital in our nation’s efforts to combat and ultimately cure diseases like cancer.
For fiscal year (FY) 2023, ASCO is asking Congress to provide $49 billion for the NIH, which is an increase of $4.1 billion from FY 2022. Additionally, ASCO supports the NCI’s budget request to Congress for $7.76 billion for the NCI, an increase of $853 million from FY 2022, which includes $216 million for the final year of the original Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
Cancer research funded by the NIH and NCI has led to significant advances in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for patients, leading to nearly 17 million survivors of cancer living in the United States today. Much of the nation’s oncology research and trials are federally funded and the primary drivers in the development of new cancer therapies, including rare and pediatric cancers.
Senate Bill Includes Boost to NIH and NCI Funding
On July 28, 2022, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their appropriations bill outlining federal funding for FY 2023. The bill would provide $47.96 billion for the NIH – a boost of $2 billion from FY 2022 plus $1 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), the new biomedical research agency focused on high-risk, bold, translational research projects. The bill would also provide $7.2 billion for NCI, which includes $216 million for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, $50 million for the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative, $30 million for the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, and $80 million specifically set aside to improve grant success rates at NCI.
Additionally, the bill contains language requesting an update in FY 2024 for opportunities to enhance childhood cancer research efforts, including coordination efforts already underway through the Trans-NIH Pediatric Research Consortium. The bill also recognizes the important impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) and sets aside $100 million to expand SDOH activities to all States and territories, in efforts to expand and implement accelerator plans and provide grants for implementation of SDOH activities. This provision aligns with the ASCO endorsed SDOH Accelerator Act.
In addition to the $1 billion in funding for ARPA-H, the Senate bill notably funds the new agency as a standalone agency within NIH, but expects ARPA-H to be geographically located away from the main NIH campus to ensure it’s able to achieve its intended culture and mission.
Several other key areas received increased funding within the Senate Bill including:
- Telehealth: Funding was provided to promote effective use of technologies to improve access to health services for those who are isolated from healthcare, to promote the adoption of telehealth services nationwide and to help address the access to care issue faced by rural America.
- Tobacco: An increase of $20 million was provided for the CDC, states, and territories to continue efforts to recue tobacco use among disparate populations and in areas with high tobacco prevalence and mortality.
- Physician Burnout: The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, an ASCO-endorsed bill that was signed into law in March 2022, received $30 million to provide comprehensive and evidence-based support to prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care providers.
As previously reported, the House Appropriations Committee marked up their FY 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill on June 30. The lower chamber’s bill would provide $47.46 billion for the NIH – a boost of $2.46 billion from FY 2022. The bill would also provide $7.38 billion for the NCI, which includes $216 million for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, $50 million for the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative, $30 million for the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, $10 million for cancer health disparities research, and $200 million specifically set aside to improve grant success rates at NCI. The House bill would provide $2.75 billion for ARPA-H, located within HHS, but not explicitly within the NIH. Also included was language to support the collection of usable social determinants of health data, increase the use of decentralized clinical trials, and improve access to broadband infrastructure and internet access. In addition, the bill includes provisions to increase research for pediatric and rare cancers, as well as increased research on the use of vaccines against cancer.
ASCO is eager to work with both the House and Senate on a bipartisan FY 2023 spending bill and encourages both chambers to provide the highest possible levels of funding to the NIH and NCI.
Additional ASCO Advocacy on Cancer Research Funding:
- On May 11, the Association sent testimony to a Senate subcommittee detailing recommendations on NIH and NCI funding. ASCO cited that a strong commitment to scientific discovery will help the research community continue current momentum and sustain the nation’s position as the world leader in biomedical research. Similar testimony was sent to the House subcommittee on May 26.
- Read ASCO’s March 2022 statement on the President’s FY 2023 budget and our principles for the development of ARPA-H.
This page will be updated throughout the year with new ways to support advocacy efforts and updates on ASCO’s activities in support of federal research funding.
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