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Proposed Budget Increase for NCI Is Below Expected Rate of Inflation

Proposed Budget Increase for NCI Is Below Expected Rate of Inflation

WASHINGTON--President Clinton has asked Congress to approve $2.217 billion in funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in fiscal year 1998, which begins next Oct. 1.

The President's request would increase the institute's budget by $61 million, or 2.82%, above the sum Congress approved for fiscal year 1997. However, the $61 million increase--if not raised by the Congress--would fail to match the anticipated inflation rate of 3%.

Comments from several influential members of Congress suggest that NCI will get an even larger increase than sought by the White House.

Research funds in NCI's proposed budget include breast cancer, $328.8 million; lung, $128.2; prostate, $77.5 million; cervical, $56 million; ovarian, $40.6 million; and uterine, $9 million.

The Clinton Administration budget includes full funding for NCI to continue supporting contracts for the ASSIST antismoking campaign. This collaborative effort by the institute, the American Cancer Society, state and local health departments, and other voluntary organizations is taking steps to develop comprehensive smoking control programs in 17 states.

President Clinton proposed raising the total NIH budget by $337 million, or 2.6%, to $13.1 billion. Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla), who would like to see the NIH budget doubled over the next five years (see News in Brief item below), called the proposed hike "paltry" and "absolutely unacceptable."

The proposed budget would also give Medicare recipients coverage for cancer screenings such as mammograms and colon examinations.

The President offered a budget for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of $634 million, an increase of $25 million (4.1%).

AIDS Vaccine Research Increased

Overall, the NIH budget for AIDS research would rise by 2.6% to $1.54 billion, which includes what HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala, PhD, called "a substantial increase in funding for AIDS vaccine research."

The proposed $2.3 billion budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes $634 million for AIDS prevention, a $17 million increase.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) budget would rise by $69 million to $1.064 billion.

This includes $244 million to come from users fees paid by pharmaceutical companies to help fund the drug approval process; fees paid by mammography centers for required inspections; and new users fees that would cover parts of the pre- and postmarket work in food, human drugs, biologics, animals drugs, and devices.

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