NIH issued revised responses to the August 2015 CFS Advisory Committee recommendations. Regarding RFAs, NIH said: “The Trans-NIH ME/CFS Working Group is in the final stages of putting together a comprehensive research strategy for ME/CFS research that will include new RFAs.” (emphasis added)
So, awesome news, right? Not so fast, cowboy. This is a commitment (which I do applaud) to issue new RFAs. But there are no specifics about amounts and timelines. And that’s what really matters.
What if the new RFAs will not be issued until 2017? 2020? What if the new RFAs are for $1 million? Less? The smallest RFA that NIH has issued since October 2015 is $250,000. A total of 98 RFAs have been for less than $5,000,000. That will not get the job done for ME/CFS.
A written commitment to include new RFAs is a first step. But the amount of money and timeline are very important pieces of information that we do not have yet. Let’s suspend the standing ovation for NIH until we have that information.
In other RFA news, NIH committed a whopping $161,000,000 last week, but none of it was for us.
- Total RFAs Issued by NIH: 176 (October 2015 to date)
- Total Dollars Committed to RFAs: $1,880,900,000 (October 2015 to date)
- Total RFAs for ME/CFS: ZERO (October 2015 to date)
|Week Beginning||RFAs Issued||Total Commitment||RFAs for ME/CFS|
If you want more background on the RFA Ticker, read the inaugural post.