Fiscal Year 2016 ended on Friday, September 30th. Were you holding your breath for that ME research RFA? I hope not.
NIH did not issue an RFA for ME research in FY2016. However, NIH did issue 352 RFAs in that time period, for a total of more than $2.8 BILLION. Last week alone, with the fiscal year coming to a close, NIH issued more than $60 million in RFAs.
I started this RFA Ticker with the goal of giving advocates data to help them assess if NIH was doing everything it could to promote and fund ME research. Seeing how much NIH is doing in other areas helps shine a bright light on what it is not doing in ME.
After Dr. Collins’s comments at the March 8, 2016 telebriefing, I received a suggestion that I stop the weekly Ticker because surely new funding was just around the corner. A similar suggestion was made after the concept clearance for research network funding. I’m paraphrasing here, but the general sentiment was “lighten up, NIH funding is on the way”.
I said then and I say again now: show me the money. Until there is money on the table, there is no money on the table. Telebriefings and promises and status reports are just words. People with the best of intentions can talk until they are blue in the face. The metric that matters is funding. Promises don’t find cures.
And so next week, I will begin the tally for Fiscal Year 2017.
- Total RFAs Issued by NIH: 352 (Fiscal Year 2016)
- Total Dollars Committed to RFAs: $2,840,680,617 (Fiscal Year 2016)
- Total RFAs for ME/CFS: ZERO (Fiscal Year 2016)
See the complete numbers at Occupy ME.