The prospect of automatic spending cuts, or sequestration, which will take effect in January 2013 if Congress does nothing, threatens the future of U.S. leadership in medical research and development and will delay or permanently remove access to life-saving medical treatments. Sequestration would slash federal investments in critical health, scientific, medical, and biological research aimed at discovering treatments, moving safe and effective new medicines to market, and creating innovations to grow our economy.
According to a report released by the Office of Management and Budget, sequestration would have a "devastating impact" on scientific research. Here’s how this will impact two agencies critical to advancing life-saving therapies:
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will face an 8.2 percent cut, resulting in a $2.518 billion loss. In addition to the discretionary cuts, an additional $150 million in mandatory budget authority (for diabetes research) will be subject to a 7.6 percent cut, equal to $11 million, making the total cut to NIH equal to $2.529 billion.
- $3.873 billion of FDA's budget is subject to an 8.2 percent reduction (merely $67 million of the agency's budget is exempt from the sequester). That cut means that sequestration will erase $318 million from the FDA's budget. Virtually all user fees that were active in FY 12 are considered part of the sequester. Such a loss will devastate the agency, cripple its ability to do its job, and put millions of Americans at greater risk from unsafe food and drugs that come from both inside our borders and abroad
We’re concerned and you should be, too. But there is something you can do. Contact your Members of Congress and let them know that further cuts to the NIH and FDA will set us back on the path to new therapies and cures for disease, jeopardize our economic competitiveness, and result in loss of jobs in communities throughout the country. Share with them why a strong investment in medical research is important to you, your family, and your community.
Medical research matters – we must continue to fund it.