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ASH President Applauds Increased Funding for NIH in Labor-HHS Budget, Calls for Raising Budget Caps

(WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017) — American Society of Hematology (ASH) President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, issued the following statement in response to the fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bill approved yesterday by the United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. 

“ASH applauds the Committee on Appropriations for placing biomedical research progress ahead of partisanship in its FY 2018 spending bill. The $1.1 billion increase in funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the legislation ensures that medical research remains a national priority. In contrast, the president’s FY 2018 budget proposal — which called for cutting the NIH budget by $7.18 billion — would have severely jeopardized biomedical research. The Society joins the rest of the biomedical research community in calling on Congress to increase the NIH budget by $2 billion for FY 2018.

The Committee’s robust support for the National Cancer Moonshot and All of Us research initiative (formerly called the Precision Medicine Initiative) will ensure that the research community can build on recent progress to conquer blood diseases by improving therapies and finding cures. Advanced genomic profiling technologies and data-sharing infrastructures already offer immense promise in helping to care for patients with blood diseases. ASH has made a commitment to advancing the research that will bring precision medicine to more patients, but progress will not be possible without robust federal investment. 

While we appreciate Congress’ commitment to biomedical research, the Society remains deeply concerned about the long-term effects that arbitrary sequestration spending caps will have on the United States’ role as a scientific and medical trailblazer in years to come. Without stable, predictable funding, lifesaving research suffers. These caps have hurt agencies vital to public health such as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, which has critical programs that keep Americans healthy and safe.

ASH remains committed to working with lawmakers and advocacy partners to raise these caps in the FY 2018 budget, restoring funding to our nation’s public health programs, and finding bipartisan solution for permanent, predictable funding for these important agencies.”

The American Society of Hematology (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online. In 2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.

Stephen Fitzmaurice, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4927