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Statement from ASH President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, on Administration’s Proposed Cuts to NIH

(WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017) — American Society of Hematology President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, responded to the White House’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget, which proposes a nearly $6 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

“President Trump’s proposal to slash NIH’s FY2018 budget by nearly 20 percent is not what our country needs to remain healthy and competitive. As NIH is the largest funder of biomedical research, robust federal investment in and by the agency has led to innovative bench-to-beside discoveries that have resulted in paradigm-shifting advances in blood disease treatment and cures — from interventions that prevent stroke in young children with sickle cell disease to methods of engineering our own immune cells to attack tumors and beat cancer. In order to continue to make strides in conquering diseases, funding NIH at appropriate and sustainable levels must be a priority.

“As we call on the White House to recognize the value of NIH and biomedical research, we remain concerned that Congress still has not passed a FY2017 budget. ASH has called for $34.1 billion for NIH in FY2017, and encourages lawmakers to finalize an appropriations bill before the current continuing resolution (CR) expires in April. Through its support of NIH, it is also critically important that Congress continue its commitment to the National Cancer Moonshot and Precision Medicine initiatives, which set aside vital funding to accelerate research progress.

“ASH is eager to work with Congress and the president to ensure that the budgets for 2017 and beyond are balanced between nondefense and defense programs. Investments in both are necessary for sustainable, predictable funding that will fuel economic growth, reduce future health care costs, and ensure that the United States remains competitive, safe, and secure.”

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