President George W. Bush on Dec. 26, 2007, signed an omnibus appropriations package for fiscal year 2008 that increased funding for basic nuclear medicine research by $17.5 million, pending small overall cuts, to be awarded through competitive grant solicitations.
The appropriations bill contained $411.3 million for biological research at the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, including $31.5 million for Medical Applications and Measurement Science program.
For almost 60 years, DOE has supported basic nuclear medicine research which has helped develop a number of scientific breakthroughs commonly used in patient care, including PET. Since the program was cut in fiscal year 2006, many important science projects related to nuclear medicine have been abandoned and long-term innovation in this field has been severely jeopardized, according to SNM.
In fiscal year 2008, the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee report included $34 million for the DOE Office of Science/Office of Biological and Environmental Research Medical Applications and Measurement Science program, restoring $20 million explicitly for nuclear medicine research. However, the House version of energy appropriations did not address funding for basic research. The final bill (after a Senate-House conference) includes $17.5 million for nuclear medicine funding restoration.