Legislation boosts federal investment in biomedical research
Congressman Brian Higgins, co-sponsor of the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6), announced approval of the bill, which provides $8.75 billion in additional funding for National Institutes of Health and $550 million to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration supporting innovation leading to new treatments and cures.
"The only failure in medical research is when you quit or are forced to quit due to lack of funding," Higgins said. "Our national investment in biomedical research is falling short, underfunding promising research and talented researchers. The Cures Act is a great first step in making the health of the American economy and people a priority once again."
The legislation allocates an additional $1.75 billion per year to the NIH for biomedical research over the next five years. Funding for the FDA supports the creation of drug development tools, such as biomarkers, that link a specific event, such as taking a drug, to a health outcome in a predictable and reproducible way. The bill also supports interoperability of health information technology and medical records.
Higgins is a vocal advocate for additional funding for the NIH and recently was named co-chair of the newly established NIH Caucus. In February Higgins, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Congressman Peter King introduced H.R. 531, the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act, a bill that would take NIH investments even further, adding more than $57 billion in new funding to the NIH over the next six years.
It is estimated that every $1 of NIH funding generates about $2.21 in local economic growth. In 2012, NIH-funded research supported an estimated 402,000 jobs all across the U.S. Last year alone, NIH funding awarded to research in Higgins' district totaled more than $78.5 million.