NCI's Special Status: Going, going, gone?
In the early 1970s, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was granted special access to the President, bypassing oversight by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since then, NCI's directors have been chosen by the President, and NCI's budget has gone directly to the President.
A recent report by the Institute of Medicine recommended that Congress reconsider NCI's special status. At a joint Senate-House hearing on the report, a former director of NIH said the authority of the NIH Director should be strengthened, in part by revoking the "special privileges" for NCI.
Many in the cancer research community are concerned that NCI's autonomy could be harmed if NCI's status is revoked. Written testimony from the American Association for Cancer Research said, "the provisions of the National Cancer Act must be preserved to ensure that the Director of the NCI has the flexibility and authority to make further inroads against cancer at the earliest possible time."
Read AACR's testimony here.
Read the National Coalition of Cancer Research testimony here.
Read the Institute of Medicine report here.