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Proposed NIH Funding Cuts Would Halt Progress on Rheumatologic Disease Research

ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology today voiced strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s proposed $5.8 billion funding cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for FY2018.

The following is a statement from ACR President Sharad Lakhanpal, MBBS, MD.

“NIH-funded medical research advances treatments and cures for disease, reduces healthcare costs, and grows local economies. Slashing the NIH budget by 20%, as the Trump Administration’s Budget Blueprint proposes, would have a chilling effect on our economy and deal a painful blow to scientific discovery that leads to new disease treatments and breakthroughs.

“Most importantly to the ACR, a cut of this magnitude would be devastating for the 54 million Americans living with rheumatologic diseases, who put their hope in medical research that produces new and more effective treatment options, and that may one day find cures for their diseases.

“Thanks to years of basic, translational and clinical research, new treatments and medications help many Americans living with rheumatologic diseases to achieve disease remission and enjoy normal quality of life. However, these kinds of medical breakthroughs take time and investment, and researchers have only recently begun to develop new treatments for serious and debilitating rheumatologic diseases like osteoarthritis, lupus, and scleroderma. We need sustained federal investment in medical research to continue advancing treatments and cures for patients living with life-altering and, at times, life-threatening rheumatologic diseases.

“As the Congressional budget process begins, the ACR urges bipartisan support for NIH medical research. We ask that our Congressional leaders support a $2 billion increase from FY2017 for the National Institutes of Health in the FY2018 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill to ensure we can meet the growing care needs of Americans living with arthritis and other rheumatologic diseases.”

Jocelyn Givens
404-633-3777, ext. 810


The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is the nation’s leading advocacy organization for the rheumatology care community, representing more than 6,400 U.S. rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals. As an ethically driven, professional membership organization committed to improving healthcare for Americans living with rheumatic diseases, the ACR advocates for high-quality, high-value policies and reforms that will ensure safe, effective, affordable and accessible rheumatology care.

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