Endocrine Society opposes severe cuts to public health, medical research funding

May 23, 2017

Contact: Aaron Lohr
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 202.971.3654
alohr@endocrine.org
Contact: Jenni Glenn Gingery
Associate Director, Communications and Media Relations
Phone: 202.971.3655
jgingery@endocrine.org

Presidential budget would slash NIH budget by nearly 22 percent

Washington, DC - The Endocrine Society warned that the President’s proposal to slash $7.16 billion, or more than a fifth, of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) budget, and $1.2 billion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would hinder progress toward needed medical treatments and advances in public health and disease prevention.

President Trump released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 Tuesday, which included severe cuts to the NIH and CDC budget similar to a preliminary proposal released in March.

The Society strongly opposes austere cuts of this nature. Because NIH funds most research projects over the course of multiple years, such a large funding drop could prevent the agency from awarding any grants for deserving research projects in the coming fiscal year. In addition, the CDC’s highly successful Diabetes Prevention Program, which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in adults over 60 years of age by 71 percent, would be severely curtailed. 

“Slashing funding would undo and reverse important progress made by the Congress over the past two years to restore lost purchasing power to the NIH due to years of flat funding,” said Ruth Keri, Ph.D., Co-Chair of the Society’s Research Affairs Core Committee. “The proposed cuts would stymie and slow efforts to better understand and treat hundreds of debilitating hormone-related diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, cancer and infertility.”

The Society’s members include scientists who advance research in these areas and physicians who apply this knowledge to treat people affected by hormone health conditions.

The proposed cuts do not reflect the reality that critical discretionary programs have been subject to budget caps for years now. Congress must raise these restrictive caps for nondefense discretionary programs like the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control to be adequately funded in fiscal year 2018.

The Society is calling for Congress to reach a bipartisan deal to provide relief from the caps in a way that provides the same relief for defense and nondefense budget priorities. Congress successfully reached bipartisan deals that accomplished these goals for the past four fiscal years, and it must achieve a compromise again for the next fiscal year to continue propelling needed medical research forward.

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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.