It got a bit crazy with NIH last week, didn’t it? The talk by Dr. Shorter went ahead as scheduled on November 9th, much to the chagrin of the entire patient community. Afterwards, NIH issued a follow up response which concluded:
The lecture was attended by approximately 15 scientists, including some who are part of the clinical study investigative team. It is fair to say it will have no impact on NIH’s interest in doing everything we can to advance the science of ME/CFS.
Most people, myself included, did not interpret the statement as an apology.
In funding news, it was reported that:
Vicky Whittemore, the agency’s CFS point person in Bethesda, Maryland, delivered on a promise that NIH Director Francis Collins made last year by announcing that NIH spending for research on the poorly understood disease should rise to roughly $15 million in 2017, doubling the estimated $7.6 million handed out in 2016.
We don’t know if that $7.5 million predicted increase will come from the new RFAs or if it will include individual investigator funding as well.
Finally, Dr. Koroshetz tweeted:
NIH is committed to understanding the biology of ME/CFS. Success depends on partnership with patient community. https://t.co/P1RP9yS9dT
— Walter J. Koroshetz (@NINDSdirector) November 11, 2016
Many, but certainly not all, of the responses he received were critical of NIH’s commitment thus far.
I decided to take Dr. Koroshetz at his word. I tweeted:
This patient is READY. Call me. https://t.co/Ea09MenS0s
— Jennie Spotila (@knittahknits) November 12, 2016
I am ready and waiting.
Here are the current cumulative numbers:
|FY 2017||FY 2016|
|RFAs for ME/CFS||ZERO||ZERO|
And here is the table for FY 2017 alone.
|Week Beginning||RFAs Issued||Total Commitment||RFAs for ME/CFS|
If you want more background on the RFA Ticker, read the inaugural post.