US President George Bush yesterday (Feb. 5) sent to Congress a $28.9 billion budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Fiscal 2008, an ostensible 0.8 percent increase of $232 million over the amount currently authorized by Congress. If enacted, it would be the fifth year in a row that NIH funding has failed to keep pace with the rate of biomedical inflation, estimated at 3.7 percent for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2007. Even though the NIH would gain a small increase, the net amount received would be far less, however, since part of the increase includes an infusion of $200 million to cover the entire U.S. government's contribution to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. By that measure, NIH's budget would effectively be increased by only $32 million -- a tenth of a percent. "We're not pleased, we're not happy,...

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