The news is generally favorable for many important government-funded neuromuscular disease research projects, in the wake of Congress’ recent passage of a continuing resolution funding the government through the end of September.
Most government operations, except those funded through the full-year appropriations bills, will be maintained at essentially the same level as fiscal year (FY) 2012. (The government's fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Sept. 30 of the following year.)
Neuromuscular disease research projects are spread across several governmental agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the Department of Defense (DOD).
“MDA is pleased that this congressional funding bill will continue to allow for the progression of vital research and critical therapy development,” said Annie Kennedy, MDA senior vice president for advocacy.
"Halting our discovery momentum at such a promising time by reducing federal scientific funding would be a ‘worst-case’ scenario. And since that potential still exists, we are continuing to work to ensure that congressional appropriators understand the importance of the life-altering work being funded by the NIH, FDA, CDC and DOD as decisions are being made about funding for fiscal year 2014.”
Kennedy noted that the continuing resolution does not avert the pending deep federal budget cuts known as the "sequester," although it does give more leeway to agencies in deciding how to make those cuts.
MDA is working with Representatives Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.), and a coalition of national patient advocacy organizations to convince Congress to give full funding to medical research in the next fiscal year.
“Raise your voice,” urged Kennedy. “Tell Congress to provide full funding to vitally important research in 2014!”