At the beginning of the month we talked about Capitol Hill and the Omnibus Appropriations Bill which was increasing the amount of funding going into many different avenues that are used for supporting lupus and lupus research. We mentioned that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was receiving a $1 billion increase, bringing their funding to $29.9 billion. While this increase is great news, it’s been noted that this increase is only restoring funding that has been lost over the years. When adjusted for inflation, the budget for the NIH is 22.4 percent lower than it has been in the past 10 years.
It is still great to see that this funding is moving in the correct direction despite the fact that it is lower than it has been in the past. Also included in the bill was more general funding going to lupus other than the NIH, but the biggest issue is where the NIH funding goes. The NIH funds most lupus research, which means that the reduced funding has directly affected lupus research. The number of grants available has fallen to the lowest in the past 15 years. NIH funding is extremely vital to lupus research and while we have made progress it is important that we continue to push for this funding to be increased. The fact that lupus has become something that lawmakers are starting to recognize is still an extremely positive point. Now that lupus is on the radar of lawmakers we can continue to show how important it is and keep to get all the help we can in solving this cruel mystery.
To read more about how the NIH funding is lower than it has been in years you can check out the Lupus Foundation of America’s Website.