All year, we’ve been asking you to support the 21st Century Cures Act, an important piece of legislation that would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to spur research in new areas, such as precision medicine, and streamline approvals for certain drugs and devices. However, now we have seen the final language in the bill and it’s not what we hoped. To pay for increased funding for the NIH and FDA, Congress plans to take money from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund provides community grants across the country that support smoking cessation programs, health education for underserved communities, immunization programs, cancer prevention education and cancer screenings, among other programs. The fund is good for communities—and a smart use of our money. Preventable diseases and health problems like cancer, diabetes and heart disease cost the economy up to $1.3 trillion annually, money that can be saved through targeted prevention programs.
By taking money from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to increase funding for the NIH and the FDA, Congress is moving money around, not increasing funding for overall health programs. We need new funding for the NIH and the FDA. Tell Congress to save the Prevention and Public Health Fund— AND increase health funding overall in the 21st Century Cures Act.