Federal Agencies Need Increased Funding to Support Cancer Research and Treatment Options

March 30, 2020

While the attention of the nation and the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is rightly focused on the current public health emergency, some elements of the regular appropriations process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 are still moving forward in Congress. ASCO wants to ensure increased support for cancer research is a part of this process.

In testimony submitted to Congress about the federal budget for FY 2021, ASCO thanked lawmakers for increasing funding for cancer research in FY2020 and urged them to continue to provide robust, sustained funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the year ahead. Such a commitment is necessary to continue progress towards understanding the cause of cancer, it’s progression, and how best to prevent, diagnose, and treat it.

“The funding levels we are requesting for FY2021 would allow for meaningful growth above biomedical inflation for the first time in over a decade and would allow the extraordinary progress of the last few years to continue. Failure to continue the historic investment in research places health outcomes, scientific leadership, and economic growth at risk,” Monica Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, Chair of the Board of the Association for Clinical Oncology, writes in her testimony.

In separate testimony, the Association also called on Congress to provide an increase in funding to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so that it can continue its critical role in ensuring safe and effective products for patients with cancer. The testimony also notes the important role FDA plays in combating tobacco usage, addressing drug shortages, and ensuring that patients and survivors of cancer have access to COVID-19 testing.

Specifically, ASCO is recommending Congress provide the following in its FY2021 funding bills:

  • NIH: $44.7 billion
  • NCI: $6.928 billion, including $195 million for the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
    • Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC): $559 million
    • Cancer Registries Program: $70 million
  • FDA: $3.28 billion (not including the $70 million authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act)
    • Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE): $20 million

ASCO members can lend their voice and encourage Congress support cancer policy priorities through the ASCO ACT Network.

Stay connected to ASCO in Action for updates on the FY2021 appropriations process.