On Dec. 16, 2019, Congress released a spending package to keep the government funded for 2020. This plan includes two big wins for food allergy research.
- Food allergies have been added to the list of eligible conditions that can be studied under the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP).
The PRMRP is a program that has supported medical research for the past 20 years. It benefits both military personnel and civilians. An extra $10 million will be set aside for the program this year. Food allergy researchers will be able to apply for grants from the PRMRP to better understand and possibly treat food allergies.
- Congress increased the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) budget by $362 million. They directed “further investment” in the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR). This should directly impact how the National Institute of Health (NIH) assigns the new funding, again increasing food allergy research and potential breakthroughs.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and other groups advocated for these food allergy appropriations earlier this year. Appropriations are acts or laws that decide how money in the U.S. Treasury will be spent. We are thrilled to see them included in this spending package. (Kids With Food Allergies is a division of AAFA.)
We also want to thank Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17) for being an advocate and playing a key part in these victories for the food allergy community.
The House has passed the package, and the Senate is expected to pass it this week. The President is expected to sign it into law on Dec. 20, 2019.