The U.S. House of Representatives has proposed spending an additional $350 million on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research.
The House Appropriations Committee released a draft fiscal 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill to be considered in subcommittee any day. In total, the draft bill includes $161.6 billion in discretionary funding, a decrease of $569 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.8 billion below President Barack Obama’s budget request.
“This bill achieves its goal of reducing discretionary spending by more than half a billion dollars, all the while prioritizing where funding is needed the most,” says LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole in a press release. “Several important programs through the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that benefit many Americans receive a substantial increase in funding, often well beyond the amount the President requested in his budget,” LHHS said.
The proposed funding bill would give the NIH a total of $33.3 billion, $1.25 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.25 billion above the President’s discretionary budget request.
The bill also provides increases for several critical research initiatives, including:
- $1.26 billion, a $350 million increase, for the Alzheimer’s disease research initiative;
- $195 million, a $45 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neuro-technologies (BRAIN) initiative;
- $300 million – the full requested amount – for the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI); and
- $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” initiative, dedicated to pediatric cancer research.
The bipartisan effort comes just weeks after the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed a historic $400 million increase in Alzheimer’s research funding. Last year, the president approved legislation from the House of Representatives for an additional $350 million for federal Alzheimer’s disease research, the largest ever increase.
Experts estimate research funding must be at least $2 billion a year to meet the first goal of the National Alzheimer’s Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.