The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the Friends of the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) have released a statement announcing their opposition to President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. In particular, the groups oppose the White House’s proposal to cut $5.8 billion of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is a 20% reduction from the fiscal year 2016 budget, and urge Congress to do the same. NIDCR is part of the NIH.
In 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act with bipartisan support. The act approved $4.8 billion in funding for the NIH for precision medicine and biomedical research as part of $6.3 billion overall. According to the AADR, this act is an example of the broad support the NIH has always appreciated from Congress. Furthermore, the AADR notes that the White House is requesting a major reorganization of the NIH’s institutes and centers, such as the NIDCR, and calls such moves a needless exercise that will divert attention from the NIH’s core mission of uncovering new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone.
The federal government founded the NIDCR during World War II to improve the oral health of American soldiers deployed overseas. Noting that the nation’s defense is linked to the health of its population, the AADR has expressed its continued support for the NIDCR and the role it plays in funding research into less invasive and more cost-effictive and cost efficient ways to improve oral health and reduce the economic burden that dental, oral, and craniofacial diseases and conditions place on Americans.
The AADR has additionally stated its desire to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis to increase funding for all of NIH’s institutes and centers, including NIDCR, and to reject any proposals to cut or reorganize NIH. Furthermore, the organization aims to encourage members of Congress to honor its tradition of allocating resources to the entire biomedical enterprise at NIH, recognizing that a discovery in one area of research may be applied to another.