publication date: Sep. 1, 2017

NCI requests $591 million in additional funding for FY19

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

NCI is asking for $6.38 billion for fiscal year 2019­—nearly $1 billion, or 12 percent, above FY17 appropriation levels—to fully fund promising research areas.

The institute’s FY19 professional judgment budget proposal, also known as the Bypass Budget, is a unique authority established by the National Cancer Act of 1971.

That law designates the NCI director as the top official of the National Cancer Program, requiring this official to inform the U.S. president about opportunities in the cancer program. At least on paper, the document bypasses NIH and HHS, and goes directly to the White House.

The $591 million increase requested in the FY19 bypass budget consists of a $301 million inflation adjustment and $290 million in additional funding for research in seven areas. The proposed budget also includes $400 million in funding for the Cancer Moonshot initiative.

NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy said NCI is thankful for “strong national support” for the biomedical research that the institute funds.

“The FY 2019 Budget Proposal is a unique opportunity for us to communicate to the President and Congress our best professional judgment about scientific opportunities to accelerate progress against cancer and the resources required to pursue this work,” Lowy wrote in an email Aug. 8 to NCI staff. “Presented each fiscal year, as required by the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Budget Proposal is provided to support Congressional budget planning and priority setting.”

The latest proposal comes nearly a year after the FY18 bypass budget was failed to appear on an originally scheduled date. Washington insiders immediately attributed NCI’s failed effort to publish the document to an incursion by NIH leadership. The document remains unpublished. (The Cancer Letter, Oct. 14, Continue reading NCI requests $591 million in additional funding for FY19

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