The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the war on opioid abuse fare well in a discretionary spending bill that would keep the federal government funded through September 30, which marks the end of fiscal 2017.
Under the spending bill, NIH funding would increase from roughly $32 billion in fiscal 2016 to $34 billion in fiscal 2017, with almost half of those extra dollars going to three institutes in particular: In a deeper drill-down of NIH spending in 2017, the bill provides $400 million more for Alzheimer's disease research, $120 million more for the Precision Medicine Initiative, $110 million more for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, and $50 million more for antibiotic resistance research.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) would receive an additional $150 million for programs to prevent and treat opioid and heroin use.
Aside from the spending increase for opioid programs, SAMHSA would experience an overall 0.4% decrease in fiscal 2017, one of several federal agencies that essentially would remain at 2016 levels.
In a note to members, AACR President Michael Caligiuri, MD, and CEO Margaret Foti, MD, PhD, said that the increased funding would "significantly accelerate our nation's pace of progress against cancer." John Meigs Jr, MD, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told Medscape Medical News in an emailed statement that his group appreciates how the legislation keeps the funding level for HRSA.