On July 28, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee released its FY 2023 spending bill that includes a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a $291 million funding boost for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The bill also includes $1 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency on Health (ARPA-H) to help accelerate new innovations in treatments for cancer and other diseases. Additionally, the bill allocates $31 million in additional funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC), including a $10 million increase for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program to provide breast and cervical cancer screening for uninsured and underinsured individuals, and a $20 million increase for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health for programs that help prevent youth from starting to use tobacco and helps adult tobacco users to quit.
A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“The Senate proposed funding increase of $2 billion for medical research at the National Institutes of Health is an important step toward ensuring continued progress is made in developing improved ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer.
“Federal funding for cancer research has clearly demonstrated its worth and we appreciate lawmakers’ ongoing commitment to investing in advancing new therapies and providing hope to the nearly 2 million Americans expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year. Cancer researchers are on the cusp of many promising discoveries, but that work requires consistent and robust year-over-year investments. The allocation of $1 billion for the creation and development of ARPA-H, in addition to the resources reserved for NIH, could help quickly translate discovery from the lab to the patient and accelerate the ability to save more lives, however more funding is necessary.
“NCI is experiencing a demand for research funding that is far beyond that of any other Institute or Center. The most recent data available shows grant applications to NCI have increased by more than 50% compared to just over 5% for the other Institutes. The House-passed version of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding legislation increases NCI funding by $466 million, far more than the $291 million increase the Senate Appropriations Committee included in today’s bill. Given the lifesaving impact of cancer research funding and the demonstrated need, we strongly urge Congress to opt for a greater increase when it considers final FY23 funding levels.
“Of course, preventing cancers before they start is the most efficient means to reduce our cancer burden. The $31 million in additional Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Cancer Prevention and Control funding will help bolster proven efforts like the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, that works to reach uninsured and underinsured Americans to find cancers at their earliest stages when chances of survival are best, and the Office of Smoking and Health which helps prevent and reduce the top preventable cause of cancer in this country-tobacco use.
“We urge the Senate and House to consider the nation’s robust research and prevention needs and allocate maximum medical research funding as they move ahead in this process, and we look forward to working with them on a final appropriations agreement.”