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The Hill: Funding bill gives $3 billion boost for NIH medical research

March 20, 2018

The government funding bill unveiled Wednesday night boosts funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $3 billion, an investment touted by both parties.

The increase, which brings total funding for the fiscal year to $37 billion, is a reflection of the bipartisan support for the NIH.

In the past three years, the office of Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the chairman of the Senate health appropriations subcommittee, says NIH funding has increased by 23 percent.

The new funds this year include an additional $414 million for Alzheimer’s research, $40 million more for universal flu vaccine research, and $140 million more for brain research.

“Investments in medical research will pave the way for new treatments and cures, lower costs, and, most importantly, give hope to patients and families battling incurable diseases,” Blunt said in a statement.

Costs for treating Alzheimer’s in particular eat up billions in federal spending each year, something lawmakers said could be prevented if the NIH can develop a cure.

“People across the country are waiting for cures and treatments that could make a difference in their lives and the lives of their loved ones, and I am glad Republicans and Democrats could work together to invest in giving them more reason to hope,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate’s health spending subcommittee.

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