Jennie Spotila Reports on NIH ME/CFS Spending in 2015
Jennie Spotila has written another detailed analysis on NIH spending on ME/CFS research. On a positive note, spending on ME/CFS grants increased to $6,470,000 in 2015, which was a 20% increase over fiscal year 2014 and, “for the first time since at least 2009, there were no psychological studies funded.” But, as Jennie points out, “even this level of increase is too small to get us to our appropriate funding level any time soon.“
To put the funding in perspective she writes:
ME/CFS is among the 52% of disease categories that saw an increase in spending. We even received more funding than hay fever for the first time since at least 2012. It’s not all good news, though. We were still 249th out of 265, compared to 231st of 244 categories last year. Fibromyalgia (whose funding fell) received 27% more than ME/CFS. Lyme disease research received almost 4 times more, multiple sclerosis received 14.5 times more, and burden of illness research received 12.5 times more than ME/CFS.
Furthermore, even if a 20% increase could be sustained year after year (something that would also be extremely unusual), it would take ME/CFS a very very long time to reach the level of funding we know is needed now. Even at 20% per year, ME/CFS would not break the $10 million barrier until 2019. It would take until 2023 to break $20 million, and it would be 2032 before we broke $100 million per year.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait sixteen years to see ME/CFS receiving the same funding level that multiple sclerosis receives right now. The bottom line is that NIH is going to have to do a lot more than say that they are serious about focusing on ME/CFS. NIH has to prove it. Now.
Read a detailed breakdown of all of the grants, comparisons to previous years’ spending, and more at http://www.occupycfs.com/2016/02/17/2015-nih-spending-on-mecfs-studies/