The Importance of Funding for NIH and FDA

JDRF is the leading global organization funding T1D research, with a mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. One of the important ways JDRF advances its mission is to ensure the federal government is investing in T1D research. JDRF’s top legislative priority is renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), which contributes $150 million annually to T1D research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will expire if it is not renewed by September 30, 2017. JDRF also continually monitors and advocates for strong annual federal funding for the NIH* and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)**.

Current funding status

The NIH and FDA are currently funded at $34.1 billion and $4.66 billion respectively. These are the funding levels set by Congress and signed by the President in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17).

In May, the Administration released its FY18 budget proposal which included a $7.2 billion cut for NIH. The proposal also calls for $5.1 billion for FDA, of which $3.23 billion would come from fees from industry for FDA to review their products. Congress must now decide what to do with this budget proposal by September 30, 2017.

JDRF’s position on the new budget

The NIH and FDA play a vital role in bringing life-changing therapies to market, and they must be funded at the highest possible level. JDRF is a part of several broad coalitions that share this belief:

  • Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research—a coalition of over 300 patient and health advocacy organizations and research institution.
  • Alliance for a Stronger FDA—an organization that unites patient groups, consumer advocates, biomedical research advocates, health professionals and industry in support of increased appropriations for the FDA.

Earlier this year, JDRF joined with the Ad Hoc Group in urging Congress to reject the Administration’s proposed cuts to NIH and to finalize the FY17 appropriations process with $34.1 billion for NIH, as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee in June 2016.

JDRF will continue to monitor and engage on the FY18 budget, the completion of the FY17 appropriations process and the late emerging FY18 appropriations proposals and the FY19 budget.

Update: JDRF has joined with 300 other patient and research organizations, as part of the Ad Hoc Group, to thank Congress for increasing NIH funding in FY17 and urged Congress to keep the progress going in FY18. You cannot overstate the NIH’s vital role in supporting life-saving research. JDRF will continue encourage bipartisan leaders in Congress to support increases, not cuts, to NIH which has delivered so much for the type 1 diabetes community.

For more information, please view our policy paper.

*The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the government agency that administers federal funding for medical research across the country and around the world. Within the NIH, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is the lead institute for coordinating and conducting research to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. In addition to administering the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) funds, NIDDK (and other institutes within NIH) awards grants on a competitive basis with funding the NIH receives from Congress annually through the annual appropriations process.

**The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with assuring the safety, efficacy and security of drugs, biologics and medical devices, including artificial pancreas technology and other new diabetes therapies. JDRF and the T1D community have a vested interest in the actions of the FDA and its funding levels as new treatments will require FDA review and approval before becoming available.