Nearly 350 groups join AACR in Rally for Medical Research

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Nearly 350 organizations took part in the sixth annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day—led by the American Association for Cancer Research—on Sept. 12 and 13 to advocate for sustained annual funding increases for NIH.

On Sept. 12, the reception included remarks from NIH Director Francis Collins, Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), as well as Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS). Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) spoke at breakfast on Sept. 13 to scientists, health professionals, and patient advocates who participated in the Rally for Medical Research Hill Day.

Advocates expressed their appreciation to Senate offices for passing a bill with a $2 billion funding increase for NIH in fiscal 2019, and requested that the House support the Senate-passed funding level of $39.1 billion for NIH in the latest version of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill.

“There is a very strong level of enthusiasm on Capitol Hill to provide the NIH with its fourth consecutive significant annual funding increase, which was underscored when the Senate voted overwhelmingly (85-7) last month for a bill that included a $2 billion increase for the NIH in FY 2019,” Jon Retzlaff, chief policy officer of the AACR, said in a statement. “If the $2 billion increase proposed by the Senate is also supported by the House, it would translate to a 30 percent increase for the NIH since FY 2016.”

The Rally for Medical Research was launched in April 2013.


President Joe Biden’s proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health would be a welcome partner to NCI—particularly in conducting large, collaborative clinical investigations, NCI Director Ned Sharpless said.“I think having ARPA-H as part of the NIH is good for the NCI,” Sharpless said April 11 in his remarks at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. “How this would fit with the ongoing efforts in cancer at the NCI is still something to work out.”