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Vol. LXIV, No. 3
February 3, 2012

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‘Haircut’ Included
Reports Offer Details on NIH’s FY 2012 Budget

Just before Christmas, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which set NIH’s FY 2012 budget at $30,631,985,922.

Each year, NIH’s Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis breaks down the NIH budget into a readable summary. Here are some details from OLPA’s report and from the Congressional Record:

  • The creation of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), with a budget of $576,456,000.

  • Up to $10 million is provided within NCATS for the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN).

  • The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) within NCATS are provided at least $487,767,000, the same amount as requested in the FY 2012 President’s Budget.

  • The elimination of NCRR.

  • The Common Fund is provided $545,962,000.

  • The elimination of $300 million Global AIDS Transfer.

  • $193,880,000 is provided for continuation of the National Children’s Study.

  • An across-the-board “haircut” for NIH and other discretionary programs of 0.189 percent.

In addition to the bill language and general provisions, there is conference language that expresses conferees’ wishes, expectations, concerns and directives. Major points within the conference report are the following:

  • Intramural/Extramural. “In recent years, extramural research has accounted for nearly 90 percent of NIH’s budget. The conferees strongly urge NIH to maintain at least that level in fiscal year 2012. NIH should also establish safeguards to ensure the percentage of funds used to support basic research across NIH is maintained.”

  • Director’s Discretionary Fund. “The conferees request quarterly notification on obligations from the NIH Director’s Discretionary Fund to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate.”

  • NCATS discussion: “While the conferees welcome the creation of NCATS, they were disappointed by the way the administration requested it. The President’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 included a vague description of NCATS but did not formally request funding for the restructuring or provide any details about which components of NIH would be consolidated into the new Center. The failure to do so caused unnecessary uncertainty about the proposal and contributed to the impression that it was being rushed. The conferees are also aware of concerns that the NIH process for evaluating the merits of the NCATS reorganization did not comply with the NIH Reform Act of 2006 with respect to the role of the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB).

    “Lessons learned with NCATS should guide NIH as it considers another proposed restructuring, one that would involve consolidating NIDA, NIAAA and components of other institutes and centers into a new institute devoted to research on substance use, abuse and addiction. The conferees understand that NIH plans to adopt a more deliberate approach in evaluating the need for this institute.

    “The conferees strongly recommend that this approach should include full consideration by the SMRB and that if the administration ultimately decides to seek such a restructuring, it should provide sufficient details in a formal budget request to Congress.”

    The conferees also “request NCATS to charter an Institute of Medicine work group to review, evaluate and identify issues related to the CAN authority and provide a report for use by the CAN board to help it identify ways to accelerate and expand the number of cures. The report should include a survey and inventory of activities at NIH, FDA, AHRQ, CDC, the Patent and Trademark Office, and in the private sector that relate to the CAN program.”

    NCATS was also directed to publish an annual report that includes a complete list of the molecules being studied; clinical trial activities being conducted; the methods and tools in development; ongoing partnerships; and “research activity of other entities that is or will expand upon research activity of the Center.”

  • Buildings & Facilities to receive $125,581,000 to remain available until Sept. 30, 2016. For alterations and repairs, NIH would be given $45 million and each project should not exceed $3.5 million.

  • Gun Control. A new general provision, which has been carried in the CDC account, is an HHS-wide prohibition of its funds to be used to advocate or promote gun control.

FY 2012 Budget Table

NCI—$5,081,788,000, of which up to $8,000,000 may be used for facilities repairs and improvements at the Frederick Federally Funded Research and Development Center in Frederick, Md.

NHLBI—$3,084,851,000 NIDCR—$411,488,000

NIDDK—$1,800,447,000 NINDS—$1,629,445,000

NIAID—$4,499,215,000 NIGMS—$2,434,637,000, provided that not less than $276,480,000 is provided for the Institutional Development Awards program.

NICHD—$1,323,900,000 NEI—$704,043,000

NIEHS—$686,869,000 NIA—$1,105,530,000

NIAMS—$536,801,000 NIDCD—$417,061,000

NINR—$145,043,000 NIAAA—$460,389,000

NIDA—$1,055,362,000 NIMH—$1,483,068,000

NHGRI—$513,844,000 NIBIB—$338,998,000

NCCAM—$128,299,000 NIMHD—$276,963,000

FIC—$69,754,000 NLM—$338,278,000

NCATS—$576,456,000 OD—$1,461,880,000

(“Funding shall be available for the purchase of not to exceed 29 passenger motor vehicles for replacement only.”)

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