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Senate Subcommittee Proposes 5.4 Percent Boost to 2019 NIH Budget

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A US Senate subcommittee today called for a $2 billion boost to the fiscal 2019 budget of the National Institute of Health, representing a 5.4 percent increase over the agency's fiscal 2018 budget.

In its funding bill, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations subcommittee recommended raising the NIH's budget to $39.1 billion from its current $37.1 billion. This increase includes an additional $425 million for Alzheimer's research for a total of $2.3 billion; $429.4 million for the BRAIN initiative, a $29 million increase; and $376 million for the All of Us precision medicine study, $86 million more than in FY 2018.

The bill also provides $90.1 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, a $2.3 billion increase over FY 2018, and $711 million in funding for the 21st Century Cures Act.

"I'm proud we were able to provide the fourth consecutive funding increase for the National Institutes of Health, which will pave the way for new medical breakthroughs and lower health care costs over the long term," Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), head of the appropriations subcommittee, said in a statement.

The full Senate appropriations committee is set to review the bill on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the House appropriations committee released a draft funding bill that included an increase of roughly 3 percent in NIH funding for fiscal 2019 to $38.3 billion.