Pediatric research spending has trailed well behind adult research outlay—at the NIH, it’s only growing by 1.7% from 2004 to 2015, reported a recent article from the journal Pediatric Research. Recently, the Coalition for Pediatric Medical Research analyzed that the program currently dedicated to early-career researchers of children’s health supported far less than other research areas. Not a good situation for our children who fall ill. Recently U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet co-sponsored legislation to establish grant funding at the NIH for early-career pediatric researchers with the mission of identifying gaps in developing new treatments for children.
Recently covered in Colorado Politics, Sen Joni Ernst, R-Iowa agreed that more researchers would help ensure that children “have access to innovative cures and treatments for the complex medical conditions they and their families are facing.” U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Joe Neguse have co-sponsored a corresponding bill in the House of Representatives. For this bill, the director of the NIH would offer research grants for childhood cancer, rare diseases, neonatal health, mental health and genetics. A financial aid program would be made available for candidates who “have not yet achieved research independence,” with priority offered to “historically-underrepresented demographics of researchers.”