Congress Allocates $10 Million for Arthritis Research

Congress provided $10 Million to fund arthritis research in the recently passed federal Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget.  The new arthritis program is part of the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), which provides dedicated funding to study certain diseases and health conditions.

This is the first stand-alone research program for arthritis of the CDMRP, though the organization had previously funded arthritis-related research through their other programs, including chronic pain management, joint warfighter medical, peer-reviewed orthopedic, peer-reviewed medical, and tick-borne disease programs.

It is not yet known what specific aspects of arthritis this funding will go toward.  The standard process for new programs involves speaking with researchers, clinicians, and individuals with these targeted health conditions to better understand research gaps and narrow focus, Akua Roach, PhD, the Program Manager for this new CDMRP arthritis research program, told Medscape Medical News.  “We’re not going to be able to solve every question,” she said, though the allocated $10 Million is “a great number to do a lot of great work.”

While the CDMRP is under the DOD, research funding can go to studying patient populations outside of military personnel or veterans, she added.  “I think that is perhaps a common misconception that if you are getting funding from the DOD, that you have to have a DOD population, and that is not true,” she said.

Another misconception is that CDMRP funding only goes to military treatment facilities.  In fact, on average, 92% of CDMRP funding goes to academia, industry, and other nonmilitary recipients, noted CDMRP Director Colonel Sarah Goldman.  “Anyone around the world can apply for funding,” she told Medscape Medical News.  “We want to fund the best research.”  Because the funding is provided under the Defense Bill, there will be discussions around the military relevance of research, she added, which not only includes service members but also their families.

CDMRP anticipates that funding opportunities through this new arthritis research program will be available by July 2024 or August 2024.

REFERENCE:  Medscape; 08 APR 2024; Lucy Hicks