The AAMC June 6 joined more than 100 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, and research institutions and organizations, in a letter of support for the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6).
Provisions in the measure would reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for three years at funding levels that represent an increase of $1.5 billion per year, and provide $10 billion over the next five years in mandatory funding through an NIH Innovation Fund.
“This is a most welcome infusion of funding that will help revitalize and rebuild our nation’s biomedical research capacity, which has eroded because of NIH losing nearly one-fourth of its budget after inflation in the past decade,” the letter states. “An important aspect of this Innovation Fund is that it supplement, not replace, the regular appropriations for NIH, and we commit to working with Congress to ensure that the Innovation Fund enhances the base NIH budget as intended.”
The letter, organized by the AAMC-led Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, commends House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.)–the architects of the 21st Century Cures initiative–for their “leadership and vision in recognizing the critical importance of maintaining funding for medical research as a national priority.”
The letter also calls upon the House leadership to move H.R. 6 to floor consideration “as quickly as possible.”