Report touts economic impact of NIH funding

A coalition that supports increased funding for the National Institutes of Health is hoping to emphasize the economic reach of NIH research as federal agencies and their advocates approach another round of budget-cutting from Congress.

NIH research supported more than 480,000 jobs in 2010, according to a report released Tuesday evening by United for Medical Research. The broad-based coalition includes academic research programs, advocacy organizations as well as industry groups. It lobbies for continued funding of NIH research. UMR said that NIH produced $68 billion in economic activity last year.

The NIH doles out much of its annual budget to researchers across the country, and its basic research is often used as a foundation for private-sector research and development in areas such as the development of new drugs.

“We hope Members of Congress take a close look at this report as they wade into FY12 budget discussions this spring, and vote to increase NIH funding to help patients, boost job growth and keep our country competitive," said Donna Arnett, a UMR member and American Heart Association representative.