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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 16, 2000
                        IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

                           January 16, 2000

Today, the White House announced that the President's FY 2001 budget would include almost $19 billion for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $1 billion over last year's funding level. In addition, the President will eliminate the delays in releasing $4 billion in research funds as required in last year's appropriations bill.

Funding for biomedical research has led to groundbreaking advances in diagnosing, treating, and curing diseases. It has contributed to the eradication of smallpox and the disappearance of polio in the Western Hemisphere. If Congress approves the President's proposal, funding for NIH will increase by over 80 percent - nearly twice what the NIH budget was when President Clinton came into office.

Increased funding for NIH has achieved broad-based bipartisan support, and the major increase included in this year's budget was strongly advocated by Vice President Gore. The new funds will be used to support new and expanded research that provide the basis for disease breakthroughs and pharmacological advances preventing death and disability and improving the quality of life for millions of Americans.

CONTINUED COMMITMENT ENSURES IMPROVED HEALTH FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. The $1 billion increase included in the President's FY 2001 budget will build on the Clinton-Gore Administration's commitment to enhance the nation's health by providing new funding for research on every major disease.

Eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. Racial and ethnic minorities face disproportionately high infant mortality, low rates of childhood vaccination, high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and shorter lifespans than the population as a whole. In FY 2001, NIH will invest $20 million to establish a new Center for Research on Minority Health to coordinate new research on this issue and explore the relation of health status to differences in culture, diet, language, and occupational hazards. This research will be used to develop prevention strategies and other interventions for affected populations.

Translate research into practice. In FY 2001, NIH will increase its investment in programs that use the latest scientific breakthroughs to develop diagnostic technologies, therapeutic interventions, and preventive therapies for a broad range of acute and chronic conditions. New funds will be used to develop new clinical trials evaluating therapies for cancer, stroke, diabetes, and mental illness and disseminate information on the clinical application of scientific breakthroughs to the public.

Foster interdisciplinary research. Translating new genetic information and scientific breakthroughs into new medical treatments, diagnostics, and prevention strategies requires researchers from diverse disciplines to collaborate. New funds will be used to develop and expand competitive grant programs to encourage researchers in fields such as mathematics, physics, and computer science to contribute to medical research and develop new ways to effectively manage data to maximize the scientific discoveries that will spring from new biological information.

BUILDS ON THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION'S LONGSTANDING COMMITMENT TO BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH. Two years ago, the President called for an increase of almost 50 percent over 5 years in the NIH budget as part of his Research for America Fund. Since that time, the NIH budget has increased by over $4.3 billion and with the funding proposed by the President this year, the Administration will be one year ahead of schedule in reaching the 50 percent goal. As a result, NIH now supports the highest levels of research ever on nearly all types of disease and health conditions.