NIH Budget Petition to White House to Increase the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Biomedical research in American Universities is mainly supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A petition on White House website, We the The People, is being promoted by people interested in increasing the NIH budget for the next fiscal year (2013).  The petition requires 25,000 votes by April 17 to get the notice of the White House.

If you would like to vote for this petition, click on the following URL and follow the instructions.!/petition/increase-nih-funding-33-billion-proposed-flat-307-billion-dollars-will-hurt-econmy-and-medical/FNr0kRbj
(Edit:This petition to increase NIH funding is now closed at the website - April 17, 2012)
According to the petition, "Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports a massive, vital engine driving our economy, improving our nation's health, generating1,000,000 jobs, generating small businesses, advancing research, promoting medical education, and buttressing employment in all 50 states as well as non-state territories. It has been funded at decreasing, flat or sub-inflationary rates since 2003. Thousands of promising careers, research projects, and laboratories have been aborted or closed down because of this funding crisis. Please tell our President that the proposed flat $30.7 billion budget will bring this crisis to a boiling point. Tell him to instead propose a $33 billion NIH budget for fiscal year 2013!

The NIH invests over $30 billion annually in medical research for the American people. More than 80% of the NIH's funding is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants to more than 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every state and around the world. For the fiscal year 2013, President's budget has appropriated $30.62 billion for NIH, this is less than last year's requested amount ($31.987).

According to the recent budget testimony by the NIH Director, 'biomedical research funded by NIH has prevented immeasurable human suffering and has yielded economic benefits as well, thanks to U.S. citizens living longer, healthier, and more productive lives.' The cited benefits include:
- nearly 70 percent reduction in the death rate for coronary disease and stroke in the last half century;
- effective interventions for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, such that an AIDS-free generation may be within our grasp;
- nearly 30 percent decline over the last three decades in the age-standardized prevalence of chronic disability among American seniors;
- 40 percent decline in infant mortality over 20 years and better treatments for premature and low-weight births that result in increased infant survival, the prevention of cerebral palsy, and better developmental outcomes; and
- more than 150 FDA-approved drugs and vaccines, or new uses of existing drugs.

NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems.

Science news source: 

National Institutes of Health website and White House website.