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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC-Convened Ad Hoc Group Joins NIH, OSTP Listening Session on ARPA-H


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations

    The AAMC-convened Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research participated in an Aug. 4 listening session hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to discuss President Joe Biden’s proposal for the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).

    The Aug. 4 session, geared toward advocates for biomedical and translational research and general medicine, was the seventh in a series of 10 public sessions for medical research advocates to discuss the ARPA-H proposal with agency officials. The OSTP and the NIH also have been hosting closed discussions with groups of advocates, including sessions for biomedical organizations, for patient advocates, and for industry.

    During the Aug. 4 session, representatives from the NIH and the OSTP — including National Institute of General Medical Sciences Director Jon Lorsch, PhD, and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Acting Director Joni Rutter, PhD — shared comments on and considerations for the new entity.

    Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Executive Director Tannaz Rasouli delivered a public statement that outlined the breadth of perspectives within the coalition about the ARPA-H proposal and highlighted the need to ensure that federal funding for ARPA-H “supplements and enhances the foundational work NIH already supports across the country.”

    President Biden outlined the ARPA-H proposal in his fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request, and the House of Representatives recently approved $3 billion in initial funding for the proposal in its FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill [refer to Washington Highlights, July 30]. The Senate has yet to draft its version of the annual spending bill.

    Simultaneously, Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) have sought stakeholder feedback on ARPA-H as they develop authorizing language for the initiative. The AAMC and Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research both previously provided feedback to the lawmakers’ request for information [refer to Washington Highlights, July 23].