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The following letter was sent to the Acting Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Director of National Cancer Institute (NCI) regarding the increase in funding to NIH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:
February 24, 2009
Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 1, Rm. 328
1 Center Dr.
Bethesda, MD 20892-0148
John E. Niederhuber, M.D.
National Cancer Institute
Bldg 31, Rm 11A48
31 Center Dr. MSC 2590
Bethesda, MD 20892
Dear Dr. Kington and Dr. Niederhuber,
President Obama and the Congress recognized the importance of medical research to our economy and public health by including $10.4B for the National Institute of Health in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) signed into law last week.
In addition, with the Continuing Resolution about to expire, Congress will take final action this week on FY 09 appropriations bills for certain agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services. The draft bills call for an increase of $938 million for NIH, for a total of $30.3 billion for FY 09, and an increase of $186 million in funding for NCI for a total of $4.968 billion in FY09
With this unprecedented injection of additional funding under the ARRA and with the added FY09 funding, we urge you set aside at least $100 million for a comprehensive, coordinated and long overdue effort to reduce lung cancer mortality.
Lung cancer continues to take more lives each year than those caused by the next four most common cancers combined. Indeed, only heart disease surpasses lung cancer in mortality in the United States. Despite the warnings in The Progress Review Group Report to NCI in 2001, lung cancer research continues to be funded far below its enormous public health impact.
When the NCI budget was doubled during the years 1997 through 2001, no proportionate increase was made in lung cancer research funding. In FY 08, according to NIH’s Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition and Disease Categories, only 6% of NIH’s entire budget covering all the institutes was allotted for lung cancer research and only 3% at NCI specifically.
In recent reports published in the Journal of NCI on the cost of cancer care under Medicare, the productivity costs of cancer, and the estimates and projections of the value of life lost from cancer death, lung cancer tops every chart.
We urge you to utilize $100 million from the ARRA and the FY 09 appropriations for a comprehensive and coordinated lung cancer research and mortality reduction program.
Laurie Fenton Ambrose
President & CEO
Lung Cancer Alliance
Bonnie J. Addario
Founder & President
Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
Gail P. Ramos Lung Cancer Foundation
Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Foundation
Joan’s Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer
Liz Martocci Lung Cancer Foundation
Caring Ambassadors Lung Cancer Program
Lung Cancer Circle of Hope
Lung Cancer Foundation of America
Beth Ida Stern
Regina Vidaver, Ph.D
National Lung Cancer Partnership
Andrea Stearn Ferris
Founder & Executive Director
Protect Your Lungs
Thomas G. Labrecque Foundation