In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) directed $174 million of federal taxpayer money to type 1 diabetes research, making it the largest not-for-profit funder of T1D research grants in the United States.
T1D research money at the NIH is primarily secured by the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research, also known as the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). Congress established the SDP in 1998 as a dedicated funding stream for research grants to prevent, cure, manage, and reduce complications of T1D. The SDP, and the NIH in general, are funded by the taxpayer and should be representative of their best interests and priorities.
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Summary of 2019 T1D Grants
- $1.1 billion was the NIH annual budget for diabetes research in 2019.
- $174 million was the amount allocated by the NIH to fund T1D research grants, 16% of the total diabetes budget. See Appendix A.
- $926 million was the amount allocated by the NIH to fund T2D and general diabetes research, 84% of the total budget.
- The NIH funded zero Practical Cure projects in 2019.
- $25 million was awarded to T1D research projects in animal or human testing. See Appendix B.
- Out of 128 T1D grant recipients, the top 25 grantees received $107 million, or 62% of total NIH T1D funding. See Appendix C.
- The top recipient of T1D grants, the University of South Florida, was given $33 million to administer the TEDDY study, a long-term multi-center study studying the genetic causes of T1D.
- The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 provided SDP funding for fiscal years (FYs) 2018 and 2019.
- Though this act mandated $150 million be set aside for T1D research grants in each FY 2018 & 2019, the program only directly funded $27 million and $73 million worth of grants in these respective years. The unexpended $200 million will be spread out in regular funding over multi-year grants within the coming years.
Special Diabetes Program Status
SDP funding is currently surviving on short term extensions. In September 2019, an extension was granted for the fund to continue through 2019. The most recent funding extension was granted through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 28, 2020. $75 million was granted to the program through November 30, 2020. We strongly support the SDP and believe that it's multi-year renewal is vital to ensure funding consistency and allow current research to continue while creating opportunities for future long-term research projects.
Appendix A: NIH Diabetes Spending
Appendix B: NIH T1D Spending by Research Type
Appendix C: Top 25 T1D Grant Recipients