Budget Control Act of 2011 could have a devastating effect on research

Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, federal programs face an across-the-board funding cut of nearly 8 percent in January 2013, if Congress hasn’t reached agreement on a budget deficit reduction plan.

These across-the-board cuts could have a devastating effect on research and other programs of major importance to the rare disease community.

When Congress returns from its summer recess on September 10, we need to urge members of Congress to identify a solution to sequestration before we see a decline in medical research.

Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, report discusses the potential impact on NIH and specific NIH initiatives such as the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. The Harkin report details projected state-by-state impacts these automatic spending cuts, known as “sequestration”, would have.

It doesn’t mention FDA, but the potential impact on that agency would be equally devastating and could include:

  • the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences would lose nearly $45 million
  • substantial cuts in the Orphan Product Research Grants program significantly slower
  • review times for new drugs, biologics and medical devices
  • reductions in planned new staffing for the rare disease offices in CDER and CBER
  • NIH would issue about 700 fewer grants to medical researchers in Fiscal Year 2013,which means 700 fewer opportunities to find medical treatments and cures;

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