publication date: Dec. 20, 2019

Trump approves $212.5M increase to improve NCI success rates; FY20 spending bills provide new funding for childhood cancer, raise tobacco-purchase age to 21

By Alexandria Carolan & Matthew Bin Han Ong

President Donald Trump signed $1.4 trillion in spending bills Dec. 20 that includes a $212.5 million increase for NCI to cope with an avalanche of grant applications and improve the institute’s declining success rates.

The bills also fund NCI’s Childhood Cancer Data Initiative, and include a mandate that raises the tobacco-purchase age from 18 to 21.

The Senate passed the bills Dec. 19, and The House of Representatives passed the two “minibus” bills Dec. 17. Had Trump not signed the bills Dec. 20, the government would have faced a shutdown as the calendar year came to a close. The 2018 government shutdown, the longest in United States history, lasted 34 days.

The spending bills include a 7% increase in funding for NIH, bringing NIH’s budget to a total of $41.7 billion, up from $39.1 billion in FY19. NCI funding will increase by $212.5 million, with a total of $6.3 billion for FY20. The FY20 increase for NCI is $22.5 million more than the FY19 increase of $190 million (The Cancer Letter, Sept. 21, 2018).

The conference report from Congress specifically addresses a conundrum that has plagued NCI for at least five years—as the overall success rate for NIH started climbing after recent sustained increases to its budget, NCI’s success rate continued to plummet because of new applications from principal investigators who are switching their research focus to cancer (The Cancer Letter, Dec. 6, June 14, Jan. 25, 2019).

“Grant applications to NCI have increased by approximately … Continue reading Trump approves $212.5M increase to improve NCI success rates; FY20 spending bills provide new funding for childhood cancer, raise tobacco-purchase age to 21

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