As I predicted, last week was another bonanza for RFAs. Another $130 million dollars was set aside, and NIH has now issued $2.6 billion in RFAs this fiscal year.
There’s a package for clinical centers and a data coordinating center for the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (almost $70 million). And there’s an RFA for early stage investigators that will make awards to sustain a program of research, as opposed to each individual project ($26 million). Other smaller projects make up the remainder of last week’s pot of gold.
I am not suggesting that NIH isn’t working on the RFA for the ME/CFS research network. There’s no indication that the idea has been dropped, and I believe that the RFA is in process. But I don’t know if it will be issued before the end of the fiscal year. Dr. Whittemore had estimated that the RFA would be issued in June or July. Obviously, there’s a hold up, although we don’t know what obstacles are in the way.
This is sickening to me. I can’t describe it any other way. Dr. Collins made a big show of support for ME/CFS research, and made a lot of promises (although vague ones). We’re still waiting. The RFA is late. The Clinical Care study is running late (Dr. Nath originally said enrollment of healthy controls would happen over the summer).
I feel like we’re waiting for a train that will never come. Every once in awhile, a conductor tells us the train is coming. When we become angry passengers and demand to know what is delaying the train, there’s a flurry of hand waving and promises to check it out right away and can we offer you some water while you wait. So we settle down and sit on the benches. And we wait.
- Total RFAs Issued by NIH: 305 (October 2015 to date)
- Total Dollars Committed to RFAs: $2,650,685,617 (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.