NIH News Advisory
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

For Response to Inquiries
Thursday, January 29, 1998

HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343


21st Century Research Fund

Three agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services -- the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- lead the world in scientific discoveries, pioneering medical treatments, and innovative health strategies. To maximize these agencies' extraordinary scientific opportunities, the President's FY 1999 budget includes a new 21st Century Research Fund that substantially increases research in a wide variety of areas. The Department's health research programs form one of the two cornerstones of this initiative. There are three basic research goals:

Increase by 50 percent our investment in basic and clinical research (National Institutes of Health): The President's FY 1999 budget includes the largest investment ever in the NIH. For FY 1999, NIH funding would total $14.8 billion -- a $1.15 billion increase over FY 1998. The increase will enable NIH to fund approximately one of every three research applications, significantly expanding research that may help unlock the mysteries of diseases like diabetes, AIDS and Alzheimer's. The budget also includes a major investment in cancer research, increasing funding by 10 percent to $3.2 billion in FY 1999. In addition, Medicare would start a three-year demonstration that pays for routine care provided in NIH-sponsored cancer clinical trials, with an estimated 1999 cost of $200 million.

Bridge the gap between what our scientists know and the health care Americans receive (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research): AHCPR focuses on research to move discoveries into the clinic, to determine what works best in practice, and to improve health care quality while constraining the cost of everyday patient care. Under the President's FY 1999 budget, total funding for AHCPR would increase by $25 million to a total of $171 million. Within this, funding for health care quality improvement would double from $15 million to $30 million. This increase will help carry out the scientific research recommendations that will be released soon by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry.

Focus more effort on preventing disease, not just curing it (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): Through our national research investment, we have made great strides in learning how to cure diseases. Now we need a similar commitment to learn how to prevent them. This budget includes a new dedicated Prevention Research Program at CDC to focus the genius of the academic community, States, and local communities, in partnership with the federal government, to identify interventions that prevent diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which will reduce the need for medical care. The budget funds this Prevention Research Program at $25 million in 1999, its initial year.