AUA Discusses COVID Relief Package, Protecting Urologic Research Funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

By Policy and Advocacy Brief posted 02-15-2021 20:12


Last week, the AUA participated in a meeting with the Friends of Veterans Affairs Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA), a coalition of more than 90 national academic, medical and scientific societies; voluntary health and patient advocacy groups; and veteran-focused associations; and One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), a broad coalition of public interest groups representing millions of cancer patients, researchers, providers, survivors and their families. Both of these meetings discussed plans for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 22) research funding and supplemental research funding for 2021.


The OVAC meeting included research-related federal funding updates and details on the timing of a COVID relief package in Congress, in which emergency funding for research agencies will most likely be included in a secondary relief bill. OVAC expects the secondary bill to focus on infrastructure, jobs and other areas impacted by the pandemic not yet addressed in previous packages. As it relates to emergency funding, OVAC is requesting Congress to provide the NIH with at least $15.5 billion to respond to the COVID-19 emergency in addition to its regular funding. For FY 22 OVAC is requesting $46.111 billion for NIH and $7.609 billion for NCI.


The FOVA discussed their FY 22 research funding asks and recommendation of $902 million for the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research program, an $87 million (10.7 percent) increase above the FY 2021 program level.


The AUA’s research and advocacy priorities include increased funding for the National Institutes of Health, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), and the VA. The AUA will support suggested funding levels through collaborations with various coalitions and patient advocacy groups, participating in meetings with members of Congress, writing and signing onto support letters and developing of congressional briefings.