Senate Bill Recommends Increased Funding for Oral Health Research
In mid-June, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended 2017 funding for S. 3040 (Blunt, R-MO), the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017.
In mid-June, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended 2017 funding for S. 3040 (Blunt, R-MO), the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017. Although overall funding was reduced by $270 million from 2016, appropriations were increased in key areas that will help support dental research across a wide range of disciplines.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) each saw significant increases in money allocated for programs supporting dental and craniofacial research.
Compared to the $31.3 billion in NIH funding in 2016, the committee allocated nearly $34.1 billion for 2017. This represents a $2.8 billion (or 8.9%) increase over the current appropriation, and is said to “reflect the Senate’s commitment to biomedical research.” Each institute and center under the NIH umbrella is expected to receive additional funding.
Appropriations for the NIDCR increased by $14.9 million (or 3.6%) — from $415.6 million in 2016 to $430.5 million in the next fiscal year. The committee noted the NIDCR’s work in developing innovative dental materials and its support for the Orofacial Pain Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment program.
The bill also provides funding to fight drug abuse, as $261 million was proposed for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ opioid abuse treatment and prevention programs. In addition, federally funded community health centers are expected to use $50 million to combat the opioid crisis — and this is over and above the $94 million expected from the Health Resources and Services Administration for substance abuse programs. Also included is a $52.2 million increase for the National Institute on Drug Abuse to help fund research on medications and alternative treatments to alleviate pain, and support efforts to better understand the long-term effects of prescription opioid use.
The bill’s next step is consideration on the Senate floor, although this may be delayed due to possible amendments that both sides may be reluctant to vote on during an election year. At presstime, the House had yet to mark up its appropriation bills.
From Decisions in Dentistry. July 2016;1(09):10.