More than 200 medical schools, associations buy full-page ads in WSJ, Politico asking Congress to increase NIH funding

The Worcester-based University of Massachusetts Medical School, Harvard Medical School and the Tufts University School of Medicine — both in Boston — are among the more than 200 medical schools, health organizations and others that have joined together to pressure Congress to increase federal funding for medical research, according to the Worcester Business Journal Online.

The institutions belong to the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, a coalition created to advocate for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health. The organization took out full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal and Politico Tuesday asking Congress to increasing NIH funding by $2 billion.

While the group has been in existence since 2008, officials said its mission has become more critical given the drastic cuts outlined under President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 fiscal year budget. Under the proposal, the National Institutes of Health's budget would be reduced from $31.8 billion to $26 billion. The budgets for the National Cancer Institute, National Science Foundation and other research organizations would also face sharp cuts, according to the report.

Research institutions in Massachusetts, specifically, depend more heavily on NIH funding, officials from Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research in North Carolina told the WBJO. Organizations in the state receive approximately $2.6 billion in annual NIH funding, the highest on a per-capita basis in the nation, according to the report.

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