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NIH Head Francis Collins Voices Sequestration Concerns At Hill Hearing

Francis Collins, NIH Director

National Institutes of Health Francis Collins recently voiced his apprehensions about sequestration cuts to House lawmakers, Federal News Radio reports.

Collins testified at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health hearing last week, where Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said NIH would stand to lose 8 percent, or $2.4 billion, from its original budget.

NIH is already disbursing historically low amount of grants despite the quality of proposals people are delivering to the agency, he said, according to Federal News Radio.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) claimed minimal funding grants may discourage young scientists to pursue careers in research.

NIH’s other issues include resolving the “valley of death,” which medical researchers call the gap between the creation of a new medication and the time it is produced and distributed commercially, Esther Carry wrote.

The process typically takes 13 years and $1 billion in funding, Collins said, according to the report.

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