NIH officials say that the National Institutes of Health’s heart and spinal institute should get more money for drugs as its operations become more efficient.
The announcement Tuesday comes as the nation grapples with a growing shortage of heart and other blood-storing equipment.
The NIH’s head of medical research, Dr. Richard Anderson, said that the agency would make changes to its guidelines for hospitals, as well as for drug manufacturers.
He said that while there is no evidence that a shortage exists, the NIH is taking steps to make sure that patients and hospitals get the most out of the money it has already provided.
The heart and a few other facilities in the NIH have already been awarded contracts to manufacture new equipment and other supplies, and the agency is also moving forward with plans to open an additional 5,000 units of specialized lab equipment to other institutions, Anderson said.
He did not give a timeline for when those changes would take effect.
A spokesperson for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which operates the NIH’s heart centers, said in a statement that the institute has made significant progress in its effort to deliver the most effective, effective care for patients.
The institute has provided $6 billion in grants and other assistance to its heart and vascular research programs since 2005, and its $2.4 billion budget will increase to $5 billion by 2022, according to the statement.
It said that if the agency were to continue to fund this effort at current levels, the institute would not receive any additional federal funding for the next 10 years.
The agency’s new guidelines will require hospitals to provide a variety of tools and services, including tests, treatment and monitoring, to improve patient outcomes, Anderson’s statement said.
The guidelines also say that if hospitals fail to make adequate improvements to patient outcomes and to provide appropriate treatment, they will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $50,000.
The guidance also calls for the NIH to establish guidelines for laboratories to improve quality of care for their patients.
SOURCE: nhl.nih.gov, heart institute,blueman,nhl source MSNBC article SOURCE The Huffington Post title The NIH is finally taking steps in an effort to make the heart and blood institute the best place to get drug development funds article