April 5, 2022
On March 29, the Biden administration released its proposed FY2023 budget, which includes increased funding for the Advanced Research Project on Health (ARPA-H) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but reductions in funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
As previously reported, ARPA-H is a new biomedical research agency focused on high-risk, bold, translational research projects, which aims to prevent, treat and possibly cure a range of diseases including cancer, infectious diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and others. The $5 billion funding for ARPA-H will speed up research that can improve the health of all Americans. The Prevent Cancer Foundation applauds the development of ARPA-H and its potential to impact early cancer detection and accelerate critical research.
Despite increased funding for ARPA-H, the budget proposal includes flat funding the the National Institutes of Health and a funding cut to the NCI of almost $200 million. The Prevent Cancer Foundation does not support a cut in funding to the NCI. Reductions in funding will not help us save lives and reduce the cancer burden on Americans. It is important to note, though, that as we push for increased funding for research that it does not come at the expense of our existing research infrastructure.
The proposed budget also includes a $41 million increase for key cancer prevention and screening programs under the CDC. These funds are critically needed in light of the recent drop in cancer screenings–a study from the Prevent Cancer Foundation in January 2022 revealed that two years into the pandemic, Americans are continuing to miss their routine doctor appointments and cancer screenings.
Our nation needs an increases in funding for cancer prevention and screening. The Foundation urges the administration and Congress to fully invest in research today so that the NCI can build on its progress and save the lives of Americans in years to come.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation’s annual Advocacy Workshop returns virtually on May 19, where we’ll be addressing cancer screening disparities in the LGBTQ+ community. Hear from patient advocacy organizations and LGBTQ+ community and health experts who will address disparities in cancer risk, access to screenings and treatment and more. Register for free today!
Organizations across the U.S. are doing extraordinary work to provide medically underserved and disproportionately impacted communities with the education, screenings and vaccinations they need to prevent cancer or detect it early. Since 2007, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in community grants in 37 states and American Samoa and to the Washoe Tribe.
Application Deadline: April 25, 2022, 5 PM ET.
On February 16, the U.S. Senate introduced the Reducing Hereditary Cancer Act (S.3656), which aims t0 modify Medicare to enable coverage of potentially lifesaving genetic counseling, testing, screening and risk-reducing interventions. A companion bill, H.R.4110, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2021.
Under existing Medicare guidelines, only people with “signs, symptoms, complaints, or personal histories of disease” meet the criteria for coverage of medical services, including cancer screenings. In recent years, Congress mandated coverage of certain routine cancer screenings, mostly for people at “average risk” of cancer (e.g., mammograms, colorectal cancer screenings, prostate cancer screenings). Unfortunately, many guideline-recommended screenings and risk-reduction measures needed by individuals at increased risk of cancer are not covered.
As previously reported, the Prevent Cancer Foundation supports the Reducing Hereditary Cancer Act. If signed into law, it will enable coverage of genetic testing for inherited mutations known to significantly increase cancer risk in two Medicare populations: those with a known hereditary cancer mutation in their family and those with a personal or family history suspicious for hereditary cancer. Visit the FORCE website for more information on this important policy issue.