Catastrophic cuts to life saving biomedical research will continue unless Congress reaches agreement on an alternative approach to deficit reduction that cancels sequestration. According to a new factsheet released today by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), the funding capacity of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) could be reduced by more than one-third (37 percent) compared to its 2003 level under the budget plan approved by the House earlier this year.
"Sequestration deals a devastating blow to an enterprise already suffering from underfunding and previous budget cuts, and the impact is being felt in labs and research institutions across the country," said FASEB President Margaret "Kenny" Offermann, MD, PhD. "We've seen critical research scaled back, trainees lose jobs, and senior investigators leave the field. The situation is undermining our prior investment in research. This does not have to happen."
Since 2003, flat-funding, inflation, and $1.7 billion in cuts due to sequestration have reduced NIH's ability to support innovative research. Today, NIH can fund only one in six grants, leaving many excellent research programs without support and risking the U.S.'s role as a leader in biomedical research. "The scientific opportunities to develop new therapies for many diseases are unprecedented but we will not make progress if we keep cutting funding for NIH. It is time for Congress to enact a bipartisan plan that reduces the deficit in a meaningful way and replaces sequestration, once and for all," commented Dr. Offermann.