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Senate Appropriators Approve $2 Billion Raise for NIH in 2018

Washington, DC, September 8, 2017 — Lev Facher reports on STAT that the U.S. Senate appropriators on September 7 approved a plan that would increase spending for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $2 billion and maintain nearly $300 million in grants for family planning programs that a House committee had sought to eliminate.

The plan would also fund the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by $387 million more than the amount recommended by President Trump’s budget blueprint.

The bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee is perhaps a best-case scenario for boosters of the NIH, family planning advocates, and those fighting the opioid crisis.

The bill adds a $15 million program at SAMHSA that funds evidence-based addiction prevention programs, as well as the $500 million to combat the epidemic next fiscal year as authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act.

Senate appropriators, like their House counterparts, disregarded a number of other spending cuts to health programs proposed by Trump, which Republican members of both chambers have openly criticized.

The $2 billion NIH funding increase is in keeping with last year’s bump and greater than the additional $1.1 billion House appropriators approved in May.

It also bans a proposed limit on indirect cost reimbursements supplied to research institutions via NIH grants, a limit supported by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and later defended by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

For Facher’s full story, click here.

Follow Facher on Twitter @levfacher.

Follow STAT — which reports from the frontiers of medical innovation and science — on Twitter @statnews.