By Paul K. Drain, Ramnath Subbaraman, and Douglas C. Heimburger
The FIC [Fogarty International Center] has been instrumental in extending the frontiers of health research around the globe and ensuring that advances in science are implemented to reduce the burden of disease, promote health, and extend longevity for all people.
In his proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, President Donald Trump recommended eliminating the Fogarty International Center (FIC) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Although the NIH actually received increased funding in the fiscal year 2017 budget that was signed on May 5, the FIC — a leader of U.S. global health research efforts for the past 50 years — may be vulnerable in upcoming negotiations over the 2018 budget. NIH Director Francis Collins has signaled that while awaiting congressional guidance, he is evaluating whether he can justify continuing the FIC if the NIH faces budget cuts down the line.1 In our view as current or past recipients of FIC support, the center represents a valuable and effective scientific and diplomatic investment, and the small reduction in the federal budget that would result from its elimination would be far outweighed by what would be lost.
Paul K. Drain is an Assistant Professor of Global Health at UW.