Budget sequestration - an across-the-board cut of about 8% in non-defense U.S. government spending - is not likely to go into effect, but that doesn't mean biomedical research and medical product regulation will be spared the effects of fiscal austerity, according to former Rep. Michael Castle.

Castle, who supported doubling of the NIH budget while a nine-term House Republican from Delaware, expects Congress to impose alternative cuts, which he warns will downsize budgets for the institutes and FDA through FY14, regardless of who is in the White House or in control of Congress.