The Endocrine Society warned that the president’s proposal to slash $7.16 billion, or more than a fifth, of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) budget, and $1.2 billion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would hinder progress toward needed medical treatments and advances in public health and disease prevention.
President Trump released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 Tuesday, which included severe cuts to the NIH and CDC budget similar to a preliminary proposal released in March.
The Society strongly opposes austere cuts of this nature. Because NIH funds most research projects over the course of multiple years, such a large funding drop could prevent the agency from awarding any grants for deserving research projects in the coming fiscal year. In addition, the CDC’s highly successful Diabetes Prevention Program, which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in adults over 60 years of age by 71%, would be severely curtailed.
“The proposed cuts would stymie and slow efforts to better understand and treat hundreds of debilitating hormone-related diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, cancer and infertility.”
“Slashing funding would undo and reverse important progress made by the Congress over the past two years to restore lost purchasing power to the NIH due to years of flat funding,” said Ruth Keri, PhD, co-chair of the Society’s Research Affairs Core Committee. “The proposed cuts would stymie and slow efforts to better understand and treat hundreds of debilitating hormone-related diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, cancer and infertility.”
The proposed cuts do not reflect the reality that critical discretionary programs have been subject to budget caps for years now. Congress must raise these restrictive caps for nondefense discretionary programs like the NIH and the CDC to be adequately funded in fiscal year 2018.
The Society is calling for Congress to reach a bipartisan deal to provide relief from the caps in a way that provides the same relief for defense and nondefense budget priorities. Congress successfully reached bipartisan deals that accomplished these goals for the past four fiscal years, and it must achieve a compromise again for the next fiscal year to continue propelling needed medical research forward.