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Bush Administration/s 2003 Budget Proposal Would Increase NIH Funding

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The Bush administration/s 2003 budget proposal, released on February 1, 2002, includes slightly more than $27.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a 16.7% increase from the 2002 NIH budget allocation. If this proposal is adopted, it will fulfill the 1998 commitment of Congress and the Clinton administration to double the NIH/s budget within 5 years.

The president/s budget request increases acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) research funding by 10% and would allow NIH to continue its $100 million support for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. In addition, according to an NIH press release issued on February 4 that described the president/s NIH budget proposal, NIH funding in 2003 would be used to address emerging areas of scientific opportunity as well as public health issues, including bioterrorism, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson/s disease, Alzheimer/s disease, and minority health and health disparities.

The NIH, after consultation with the Federal Office of Homeland Security as well as the Office of Public Health Preparedness, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, requested approximately $1.75 billion for bioterrorism-related research and infrastructure, which would be an increase of almost $1.5 billion from the 2002 budget. Of the requested amount for 2003, nearly $1 billion would be used to fund bioterrorism research activities, including funding for existing programs as well as the initiation of new ones.

The NIH/s plan for bioterrorism-related research comprises four broadly coordinated efforts:

  1. The expansion of basic research into the physiology and genetics of potential agents that might be used in bioterrorism, into immune system function and response to each potential agent, and the pathogenesis …

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