Government psoriasis research funding down over last decade while NIH budget up 148%


Less than $1 per patient spent on psoriasis research annually

Portland, Ore., May 17, 2004 Armed with statistics showing psoriasis research funding languished as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) enjoyed record budget increases, the National Psoriasis Foundation released its 2004 legislative agenda today as its members gathered in Washington, DC to meet with Congressional offices. The top policy goal of the Psoriasis Foundation will be to secure additional funding for psoriasis research. Over the last decade, as NIH funding increased by 148%, psoriasis research funding at NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) actually decreased by 13%.

"The five million Americans with psoriasis have missed out on the historic growth at the National Institutes of Health," said Gail M. Zimmerman, president and CEO of the Psoriasis Foundation. "While the reasons for this are complex, the federal government is apparently spending less than $1 per patient on psoriasis research annually. Given the human costs of psoriasis as well as the more than $2 billion spent annually treating this disease, we are asking Congress to increase the federal commitment to psoriasis research."

Psoriasis Foundation members from around the country are in Washington, DC today meeting with dozens of Congressional offices, unveiling the legislative agenda and educating lawmakers about the disease. In addition to urging increased research on psoriasis, the legislative agenda calls for Congressional support for NIH's Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan; for a government effort to increase the number of physicians and scientists treating and studying psoriasis; and for improved patient access to treatments and fair reimbursement rates for these treatments.

"I look forward to meeting with Congressional offices to explain the devastating impact psoriasis can have on people, and the importance of increasing research funding for this disease," said Isabel Esteviz, a Psoriasis Foundation member from Chicago, Ill. who is in Washington for the meetings. "We psoriasis patients need our fair share of the great work being done at NIH."

NIAMS funding for psoriasis research was $4.7 million in fiscal year 1995, and is just $4.1 million in FY 2004, a reduction of 13% before inflation. During the same time, the NIH budget grew from $11.3 billion to $28 billion, an increase of 148%. (NIH also funds some psoriasis research through other Institutes at NIH, but those lesser figures are not yet available.)

"NIAMS supports important research on behalf of psoriasis patients," Ms. Zimmerman added. "We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that NIAMS has the resources it needs to enhance its ability to conduct cutting-edge psoriasis research in the future."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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