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  • Washington Highlights

    NIH Releases Alzheimer’s Disease Professional Budget

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) July 27 released its first Professional Judgment (PJ) Budget estimating the additional federal funds needed to find effective interventions to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025—the primary research goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Entitled “Reaching for a Cure: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Research at NIH,” the document outlines the toll Alzheimer’s takes on the nation and the scientific opportunities NIH could pursue with enhanced funding in fiscal year (FY) 2017. NIH estimates it will need an additional $323 million above its estimated base budget in FY 2017 to continue progress toward the goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025.

    The budget includes a set of specific, targeted milestones; areas poised for future discoveries; and areas of research that stand to benefit the most from intensified investment in FY 2017.

    National Institute on Aging (NIA) Director Richard Hodes, M.D., presented the budget to the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services.

    In a statement, NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., said the plan “outlines the optimal approach NIH would take in an ideal world unconstrained by fiscal limitations to make real and lasting progress against this devastating group of disorders.”

    “Through this plan, NIH is proposing an investment in hope—hope grounded in biomedical research,” Dr. Collins said, adding, “We believe that if we expand and build upon our base of scientific knowledge, we can identify and implement the strategies for combating Alzheimer’s disease that are so desperately needed.”

    The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (P.L. 113-235), Division G, Section 230, mandates NIH to prepare and submit to the president, for review and transmittal to Congress, an annual professional judgment budget for Alzheimer’s disease through 2025.

    This approach is often referred to as a “bypass budget” because of its direct transmission to the president and then to Congress without modification through the traditional federal budget process. Cancer and HIV/AIDS are the only other areas of biomedical research that have been the subject of such special budget development.