Obama Budget Boosts Medical Research, Tackles Drug Prices

Obama Budget Boosts Medical Research

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s final budget proposal to Congress asks for big increases across the board in medical research and public health in an attempt to maintain new momentum for supporting disease research, as well as to deal with the emerging threat of the Zika virus.

He’s also calling for some targeted measures to address rising prescription drug prices. Those include greater price transparency and a new endorsement of his previous proposals to allow Medicare to negotiate drug costs.

For the second year in a row, Obama wants a significant increase for the National Institutes of Health. He wants to boost the agency’s budget to $33.1 billion, an increase of $825 million — enough to pay for 10,000 new medical research grants, according to the White House.

And Obama wants an extra $116 million to help the Food and Drug Administration review new medications and make sure they’re safe.

Obama Budget Boosts Medical Research

Obama is also calling for a $900 million increase for the National Science Foundation and related agencies to boost support for basic research. And he wants $300 million for his precision medicine initiative — an effort to find treatments that can be targeted to an individual’s genetic makeup. That’s more than $100 million above the amount Congress approved for the current fiscal year.

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