publication date: Feb. 13, 2015

NCI to Spend $70 Million on Precision Oncology In Presidential Initiative, Even if Congress Doesn’t Appropriate New Funds, Varmus Says

NCI will implement President Barack Obama’s directive to ramp up the initiative in precision medicine, even if Congress doesn’t appropriate specific funds for this purpose, Institute Director Harold Varmus told members of the National Cancer Advisory Board Feb. 12.

The White House budget proposal for fiscal 2016 includes $200 million for NIH to spend on the Precision Medicine Initiative. On top of that, the proposal includes a 3.2 percent overall budget increase.

For NCI, this would mean a $70 million boost for precision medicine in oncology—some on work that’s already underway, Varmus said.

The president’s version of the budget was delivered to Congress, which has to act to deliver its own budget that appropriates funding and authorizes spending (The Cancer Letter, Feb. 6, 2015). Whatever happens, Varmus said, the institute would move toward the president’s goals.

“The NCI is committed, of course, to fulfilling the president’s desire to have $70 million spent on this initiative. And we will do that,” Varmus said to the board in his opening remarks. “There is no guarantee that we will have the funds from Congress to explicitly do this.

“In other words, there are two things about the appropriations process this year that will be interesting to watch.

“The first is whether we the NIH will receive the increase in overall spending the president has requested, and secondly whether the Congress will … Continue reading 41-06 NCI to Spend $70 Million on Precision Oncology

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