To save lives, we need to restore federal funding for biomedical research to discover new treatments and cures.
Congressional funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has eroded by 19% since 2003.
If NIH funding is not restored and put on a path for sustained growth, research to cure diseases and save lives will slow or stop.
Investing in NIH helps all Americans now and in the future.
Diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease touch each of us – whether it’s ourselves, our family or friends, or in our community:
- Half of all men and a third of all women will develop cancer in their lifetimes.
- By 2050, Alzheimer's care is projected to cost the U.S. over $1 trillion a year – or twice what we currently spend to defend the country.
- Today, 1 out of 3 Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes-related care and 1 out of 5 Medicare dollars is spent on Alzheimer's care, costs that will soon bankrupt our nation.
- Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States.
Thanks to decades of NIH-funded research, today Americans are living with and overcoming once deadly diseases.
But we still have a long way to go.
Of the 10,000 known diseases, we only have cures for about 500.
Those breakthroughs are within our reach … but only if Congress fully funds NIH.
NIH funds researchers at universities and institutes in all 50 states who advance our scientific understanding, improve disease prevention, innovate new treatments, and discover cures for thousands of diseases.
Thanks in part to our nation’s investment in NIH:
- Death rates from cancer have dropped more than 25 percent since 1990.
- Deaths from heart disease and stroke have fallen by 70 percent over the last 50 years.
- Cure rates for childhood cancer are now greater than 85 percent.
- A baby born in the U.S. now has an average lifespan of about 78 years – nearly three decades longer than a baby born in 1900.
- Because of HIV therapies, individuals starting successful HIV treatment in their 20s and 30s can be expected to live into their 60s and 70s.
- From 1990–2013, deaths from stroke fell 40 percent.
An aging population, growing obesity rates, a worsening diabetes epidemic, and rising Alzheimer's rates mean it's more important than ever to restore NIH funding and invest in a healthy future.
Patients can’t wait. Congress should immediately restore funding for NIH research to save lives and ensure the health of our nation, our communities, our loved ones, and ourselves.