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Statement by the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) on the President's FY19 Budget

The American Association for Dental Research issued the following statement on President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget by the Association’s Executive Director Christopher Fox, DMD, DMSc.

Alexandria, Va., USA – The American Association for Dental Research is disappointed in the president’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request released on Monday. While we are appreciative of the president’s call to invest in opioid-related spending, including medical research for addiction prevention and treatment and pain management — an area well-suited for dental researchers to contribute to the body of knowledge — and for the administration taking into account last week’s Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, we remain concerned about the document’s proposals related to research funding and reorganization as well as the budget’s overall treatment of the non-defense discretionary portfolio.   

By calling to reduce non-defense discretionary spending to $57 billion below the level passed in the Bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2018, this document fails to account for the role that non-defense discretionary funding plays in the health security of our nation.

Among the budget’s hits to research, including a $1.5 billion cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an appeal to “integrate” the research of three programs — the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation — the budget also cuts funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to $413 million in FY 2019, down from $425 million in FY 2017. While the addendum to the FY 2019 presidential budget restores proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the 2017 enacted level, flat funding for NIH for more than two years would, when taking inflation into account, would be an effective cut to biomedical research.

Each year, researchers, students, dental and medical practitioners, policymakers and the American public rely on federally-funded research. To propose cuts of this magnitude at a time when we need research most is counterproductive and dangerous. The research being conducted at NIH and NIDCR is increasing our understanding of the fundamental causes of oral diseases and conditions, transforming how oral health care is delivered and accelerating the transfer of new knowledge and evidence into the hands of those who need it most. NIDCR plays a unique, vital and innovative role within the federal research infrastructure and requires sufficient federal funding to improve oral health and oral health care delivery as well as to reduce the economic burden dental, oral and craniofacial diseases and conditions place on our citizens.

AADR thanks members of Congress on the work they have done thus far to raise the spending caps and support the research enterprise, and we call on them to continue championing research and innovation and their federal stewards, including NIDCR, that make our country healthier, safer and more secure.

We look forward to working with Congress on a bipartisan budget that increases funding for NIH and NIDCR, provides health-related departments with an equal share of relief through 302(b) allocations, and honors the long-standing tradition of apportioning resources to the entire research enterprise. As we collectively aim to improve the overall health and well-being of Americans, we implore congressional appropriators to remember the role that research has played – and continues to play – in the health of our nation.

About the American Association for Dental Research
The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is a nonprofit organization with nearly 3,500 individual members dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. AADR is the largest Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). To learn more, visit www.iadr.org/aadr.


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