Health and Human Services in the FY 2012 Spending Bill: NIH Holds Steady, New Translational Sciences Center Established
On the whole, the FY 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act leaves the overall National Institutes of Health R&D budget fairly unchanged, with any additional appropriations offset by an across-the-board reduction in discretionary spending leaving the NIH R&D budget $56 million below last year's $30.2 billion budget. Most individual research centers received a one-third percent increase, but there are also some notable changes. In the final bill, Congress agreed to establish within NIH the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, an entity that will seek to reengineer the process by which new discoveries in fundamental science move from lab to clinic. The Senate had originally approved the proposed center in its version of the appropriations bill, but the House had not. Elsewhere at NIH, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences will also see a $396 million or 19.5 percent increase. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration see substantial cuts in R&D budgets of 11.4 percent and 28.5 percent, respectively.