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BIO to Labor/HHS: Increase Funding for Critical Public Health Programs

April 9, 2014
BIO sent a letter to appropriators to encourage support for programs and initiatives that are of great importance to the American public and the advancement of public health, and that will help meet our nation’s unmet medical needs.

Specifically, we request the following:

National Institutes of Health (NIH): We request that the Committee provide NIH with at least $32 billion. Since the doubling of the NIH funding between 1998 and 2003, funding has failed to keep pace with biomedical research inflation and, as a result, the success rate of meritorious research proposals has fallen to one in ten, down from one in three in 2003. Consistent sustainable growth in NIH funding is critical to knowledge development that contributes to advancing better health for all Americans.

340B Program Integrity: We ask the Committee to sustain at least the current level of funding for Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA), and to provide future direct appropriations for improved program oversight and compliance activities, specifically those identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) in recent years.

The OPA administers the 340B drug pricing program, which requires drug manufacturers to provide deep discounts to designated covered entities on certain outpatient drugs in order for the Federal Medicaid matching funds to be available to states on those drugs. We are very supportive of the Committee’s FY2014 appropriations for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) of $10.2 million, which increased OPA’s FY2013 funding-level by $6 million for new program integrity efforts.

The resources made available by the FY2014 funding are crucial to improve the 340B program’s integrity.