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JDF Washington Report
Vol. I, No. 11, October 21, 1998

Final Budget Deal Confirms Largest Budget Increase in NIH History; Type 1 Diabetes Research Receives Special Attention

We are very pleased to report that the U.S. House of Representatives October 20 and the U.S. Senate October 21 approved a final fiscal year 1999 budget that increases the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by 14.6 percentor $2 billionover last year’s level; this funding increase is consistent with JDF's request for a 15 percent increase. (By comparison, the NIH budget was increased by $907 million in last year's appropriations bill.) The $2 billion increase in funding marks the largest boost in NIH’s budget in its history. This funding increase marks the first step towards JDF's goal of doubling the NIH budget over the next five years.

Funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) was increased by 14 percent (an additional $122 million), close to JDF's request for a 15-percent increase. Under the bill, the total NIDDK budget will rise to nearly $1 billion. The NIDDK is one of the many institutes that make up the overall NIH. Although NIDDK sponsors approximately 2/3 of all of NIH's diabetes research, more than 9 other NIH institutes also support diabetes research.

We are also delighted to report that the bill includes a special $30 million initiative focused on research into autoimmune diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes. JDF supported this research initiative because it will focus cross-institute research into autoimmune diseases. The report accompanying the budget bill states:

"Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and lupus affect millions of Americans and disproportionately affect women and minorities. It is believed that enhanced research in this area holds the potential to cure and prevent many diseases. In addition, more needs to be known about the specific environmental agents that are causing the onset of the disease, genetic susceptibility, and how the body regulates the autoimmune response. Therefore, NIAID [an institute within NIH] is strongly urged to expand its research efforts to capitalize on recent discoveries of autoimmune reactions and newly developed treatments that can suppress immune responses without toxic side effects...."

Looking ahead to the future, JDF will continue to work actively with the NIH and all of the institutes that have an interest in diabetes research to discuss the extraordinary research opportunities in diabetes. We will work to ensure that this remarkable budget increase is used to substantially boost funding for diabetes research at each relevant NIH institute. We will be aided in this effort by language in the report accompanying the budget bill that states:

"The conference agreement concurs with Senate report language regarding the need for expanded research into Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes. NIDDK and other NIH institutes with an interest in diabetes are encouraged to focus additional resources in this critically important area."

President Clinton is set to sign the measure into law later today or tomorrow.

Congratulations for all of your hard work over the year to convince lawmakers to provide the resources needed to begin the doubling of the NIH and build a foundation for substantial increases in federal support for diabetes research. Your letters, phone calls, and contacts are making a difference in our effort to find a cure for diabetes and its complications.

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - Government Relations
1400 I Street, NW #500
Washington, DC 20005
1-800-JDF-1VOTE ex. 5 (800-533-1868)

Posted 25 October 1998

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