Nature Medicine Examines Impact Of Potential Budget Cuts On TB Research

Nature Medicine examines how U.S. federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, might affect tuberculosis (TB) research, focusing on the “Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC), a research nexus based in Atlanta that conducts tuberculosis clinical trials across nine countries in collaboration with the U.S. government, non-profits and drug companies.” The news service writes, “Over the past three years, the TBTC has seen an approximate 10 percent drop in its budget, which is determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and which peaked in 2008 at $10.4 million, according to [TBTC Steering Committee Chair Neil] Schluger. This year, the consortium learned it would be facing dramatic additional reductions as a result of the sequester.” Noting that researchers hope the cuts do not exceed 13 percent, Nature Medicine writes, “The cuts come at a time when many in the tuberculosis community feel that new treatments are within reach,” but not without clinical trials, which might “be delayed by years, if not permanently” (Quirk, 7/8).