Tom Price, the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, has defended proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health budget, Stat News reports.
The Trump administration in its budget proposal for 2018 has called for a nearly 20 percent cut to the NIH budget and has more recently suggested that $1.2 billion could be trimmed from its budget this year.
According to Stat News, Price argues that the budget of the NIH, which his department oversees, includes a number of unnecessary expenses. "Our goal is to fashion a budget that focuses on the things that work, that tries to decrease the areas where there are either duplications or redundancies or waste, and whether indeed we can get a larger return for the American taxpayer," Price told a House subcommittee.
In particular, Price suggests that NIH could cut costs by reducing its overhead payments to universities and research institutes that cover the expense of running labs. He says that that way even if the NIH budget is smaller, it could still fund more research.