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March 9, 1984

NIH fares relatively well, but dollars buy less

JAMA. 1984;251(10):1251-1252. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340340009002

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Biomedical research, even in times of unprecedented budgetary deficit, still has some clout compared with other federal health efforts.

Alone among the agencies of the Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) expects a 2% increase—$89,118,000 in all—over its present budget allocation. (In the 1985 budget sent to Congress by President Reagan, the NIH would receive $4.5 billion.) Still, when an annual inflation rate of 4.2% —the figure used by the Reagan Administration—is taken into account, this actually represents a reduction of 2.2% over the 1984 budget in dollar purchasing power.

But, at least by comparison with other agencies in the Public Health Service, the NIH fares well in this budget. For instance, the budget for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has been cut by $10 million from its 1984 total of $290 million. The result is a reduction of 7.3% in terms of actual purchasing