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Senate Subcommittee Approves 2018 Funding Bill Increasing NIH Budget

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A US Senate subcommittee today approved a fiscal 2018 funding bill that includes a $2 billion increase to the annual budget of the National Institutes of Health.

The $166 billion bill from the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee specifically allocates $36.1 billion to the NIH for the coming fiscal year. Of that total, $1.8 billion is earmarked for Alzheimer's disease research — a $414 million increase over fiscal 2017 — and $400 million is set aside for the agency's BRAIN Initiative — a $140 million increase over the previous fiscal year.

The bill also gives the NIH's All of Us precision medicine program an additional $60 million, which would bring its fiscal 2018 funding to $290 million, and includes funding increases to every NIH institute and research center.

The bill is set to go before the full Senate appropriations committee tomorrow.

"For the second year in a row, this subcommittee has come together to craft a bipartisan bill that prioritizes resources for programs that will have the most benefit for the most Americans," Subcommittee Chairman Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a statement. "I'm proud that we were able to secure another $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, which will provide doctors and researchers additional resources to help them treat and cure our most deadly and costliest diseases."

This latest appropriations bill comes about four months after US Senate and House leaders released a fiscal 2017 budget plan that gave the NIH a $2 billion funding increase over the comparable fiscal 2016 level — countering President Donald Trump's request to cut the NIH's budget.