WASHINGTON, D.C.— Monday the Biden administration released its FY 2023 budget, which includes $5 billion for the forthcoming creation of the Advanced Research Project on Health (ARPA-H) but reduces funding by nearly $200 million for the National Cancer Institute (NCI); a scenario which may threaten to undermine the president’s recently relaunched Cancer Moonshot effort and his goal of ‘ending cancer as we know it.’ Congress increased funding for NCI and appropriated $1 billion to ARPA-H in the FY 22 omnibus earlier this month.
While the budget proposes reduced resources for NCI, it does provide a $41 million increase for to key cancer prevention and screening programs under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), funds that are critically needed.
A statement on the proposed budget from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“The president’s budget, unfortunately, creates a scenario where ARPA-H is being created to the detriment of NCI and NIH more broadly. While we welcome the potential of ARPA-H to accelerate advancements in cancer research and other diseases, we cannot risk weakening the proven work of NCI, especially when it comes to a disease that is estimated to kill more than 600,000 Americans this year. Cutting nearly $200 million from NCI is significant—especially in the wake of the pandemic along with rising research costs—and could undermine the president’s own Cancer Moonshot efforts.
“While the proposed budget presents a challenge in advancing instrumental and foundational cancer research, the administration recognizes the importance of funding the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the CDC with an additional $41 million. Cancer prevention and early detection are essential to reducing our nation’s cancer burden. Increased funding for CDC prevention programs would be critical in light of the millions of Americans who have missed or delayed their cancer screenings due to the pandemic and we welcome the proposed budget boost. Importantly, however, prevention must be accompanied by continued advancements in research if we’re going to save more lives from cancer.
“We look forward to working with the administration and Congress on a 2023 budget that reflects the urgent need for robust investment in cancer research and prevention as well ensures ARPA-H is funded in a way that best complements the work of NCI rather than creating funding competition.”