Posts Tagged ‘economic recovery’

WHYY Philadelphia: Science in the Stimulus Package

Monday, February 9th, 2009

A news item on WHYY FM in Philadelphia discussed the role of science investment in the economic recovery package. Research!American President Mary Woolley commented on the economic impact of the Harkin-Specter Amendment that would add $10 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health.

Woolley: That 10 billion dollars could result in the creation of over 70,000 jobs over the next immediate several months up to two years.

Woolley says that a government investment also supports the private sector by doing the initial research that biotech and pharmaceutical companies then use in making consumer products

The audio of the program and the rest of the transcript are available here.

Washington Post Op-Eds: NIH Funding

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The Washington Post published two op-eds this weekend about the economic recovery package that mention the amendments for additional NIH Funding.

Cancer research advocates are bringing their voice to the stimulus debate. Patrick Swayze, writing as a cancer patient, urged the $10 billion for NIH.

And lest we forget: Medical research will also extend and save lives, expand treatment options and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans.

New funding is especially important now because it will enable us to build on recent breakthroughs. The mapping of the human genome has provided a springboard into an era of personalized medicine, one in which doctors can tailor treatments to fit individual patients and their unique conditions. We also know more now than ever before about cancer’s molecular nature and the way it responds to interventions. New research money will let us take maximum advantage of this new knowledge.

The good news is that we have seen progress against a number of cancers in recent years. The bad news is that for many other kinds, including the type of tumor that has invaded my pancreas and liver, the results are not very good at all. Survival rates for pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, are very low and have barely budged over the past 30 years. To date, research has not identified either early detection tools or effective treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Sen. Arlen Specter (PA), writes a more general piece, but he mentions money for NIH in amendments to the Senate’s $780B bill and points to cuts in the Senate moderates’ bill for wellness and prevention programs.

In health funding, both the House and Senate bills contain billions of dollars for wellness and prevention programs, including for smoking cessation, prenatal screening and counseling, education, and immunization. The moderates’ bill, regrettably but necessarily, cancels this funding on the grounds that such programs are better left to the regular appropriations process.

The Scientist NewsBlog: Senate OKs Big NIH Bump

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

As the Senate works to revise the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, good news is in store for the National Institutes of Health. The Scientist NewsBlog reports on an amendment submitted by Senators Arlen Specter and Tom Harkin that would include $10 billion in funding for the NIH. The addition of the amendment was confirmed through a voice vote, but the amendment still has to make it through the Senate vote and into the final bill.

Richard Marchase, president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), said that the sponsors of the amendment were “champions of biomedical research,” in a statement. “Millions of Americans who suffer from devastating illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the hundreds of thousands whose jobs depend on NIH funding, owe a great deal to these leaders,” he added. “It is our hope that the economic recovery package is one step forward towards a long-term, sustainable investment in medical research.”

Annals of Neurology: Biomedical Research Funding Could Be a Valuable Part of the Economic Stimulus Plan

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

A post on the Annals of Neurology blog detailed the role of biomedical research in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. The article quoted Research!America President Mary Woolley extensively on the benefits of funding research in the economic stimulus.

Seeing research go from bench to bedside would be one of the long-term benefits of biomedical research funding as part of an economic stimulus package, noted Woolley.  For example, researchers may one day be able to use their understanding of the human genome to develop individualized treatment and prevention of a large number of diseases. “Instead of trial and error healthcare, we would have the right treatment the first time,” she said. “This would allow us to save time, money, pain and suffering.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Senate Vote on $10 Billion for NIH Imminent

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Speak Out for Research Now

Contact your senators now in support of $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The full Senate debate begins today, including Sen. Arlen Specter’s (PA) amendment to increase NIH funding.

Specter’s amendment would add $6.5 billion to the $3.5 billion for NIH currently included in the bill. Additional funds provided by the amendment would be distributed to the Institutes and Centers proportional to their current funding level.

Investing in the NIH will create and sustain high-paying jobs in every state while improving the lives and health of Americans. Take action now!

Back $10 Billion for NIH in Economic Recovery

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Contact Your Senators Immediately

Take action now to support $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Senator Arlen Specter will introduce an amendment tomorrow when the Appropriations Committee considers the bill. The current version includes $3.5 billion for NIH, and the amendment would add $6.5 billion bringing the total to $10 billion.

Contact your senators immediately and urge them to be a champion for NIH. It is particularly important for you to speak out if your senator is on the Appropriations Committee, listed below.

Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii, Chairman
Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia
Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont
Tom Harkin, Iowa
Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland
Herb Kohl, Wisconsin
Patty Murray, Washington
Byron L. Dorgan, North Dakota
Dianne Feinstein, California
Richard Durbin, Illinois
Tim Johnson, South Dakota
Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana
Jack Reed, Rhode Island
Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey
E. Benjamin Nelson, Nebraska
Mark Pryor, Arkansas
Jon Tester, Montana
Thad Cochran, Mississippi, Ranking Member
Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania
Christopher S. Bond, Missouri
Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
Richard C. Shelby, Alabama
Judd Gregg, New Hampshire
Robert F. Bennett, Utah
Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas
Sam Brownback, Kansas
Lamar Alexander, Tennessee
Susan Collins, Maine
George Voinovich, Ohio
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska

Nobel Laureates to Obama: Include Research in Economic Recovery

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Recently, a group of Nobel Laureates sent a letter to President-elect Obama, urging him to increase funding for research as part of economic recovery. The introduction to the letter is here:

As a part of your economic stimulus package, we ask you to consider an immediate increase in funding for scientific research. We deeply appreciate your commitment to increasing the funding that American science so desperately needs. We know that you understand how important it is for the long-term health and vitality of the American economy to keep America at the forefront of scientific research. While some might argue that the current economic crisis should push such plans into the future, we believe, to the contrary, that the stimulus package provides a vital opportunity to begin rebuilding American science, because increased science funding is an ideal economic stimulus: it creates good jobs across the economy, there is large pent-up demand so that money can be spent immediately, and it represents an investment in the infrastructures of scientific research and higher education that are vital to our economy’s future.


Read the entire letter here.
(PDF)

The Scientist: Bailing out life science

Friday, January 16th, 2009

The Scientist NewsBlog reported today on the science funding included in the economic recovery package. The Appropriations Committee released a statement with the figures: $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $3 billion for the National Science Foundation and $462 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research!America advocated for increased funding for the sciences during the development of the recovery package, stressing the impact that research has on the economy.

The clearest voice clamoring for increased funding at government life science agencies has come from Research!America. The science advocacy group suggested that an infusion of $11.1 billion would resuscitate agencies such as the NIH, NSF and the CDC. The group sent a letter in December to Obama asking that NIH be given an $8.6 billion boost while NSF and CDC get $1.4 billion and $1 billion, respectively.

Read Research!America’s letter to the Presidential Transition Team here.

Log in to read the rest of The Scientist article here.

Speak Out for Research in Economic Recovery Package

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Increase Funding for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ

President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders are working on economic recovery legislation that will hopefully be ready by Inauguration Day. Some health measures are expected in the bill, and now is the time to make sure that research is part of the package.

Today, Research!America sent letters to the Obama-Biden transition team and congressional leaders urging them to include $11.1 billion for research in the economic recovery package. The recommendations for each agency are as follows:

• NIH – $8.6 billion (FY08 budget = $29.2 billion)
• NSF – $1.4 billion (FY08 budget = $6.1 billon)
• CDC – $1.0 billion (FY08 budget = $6.4 billion)
• AHRQ – $97 million (FY08 budget = $335 million)

Let the Obama-Biden transition team know that your vision for the country includes expanding the U.S. investment in research to improve health. An infusion of $11.1 billion for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ in the economic recovery legislation will produce immediate and long term dividends that protect good jobs, stimulate local economies across the nation, provide data to help make health care reform evidence-based and expand the research that is the foundation for innovation and global competitiveness.

The Web site http://change.gov provides many ways to offer input to the Obama-Biden transition team and is constantly changing. We have suggested using the “Share Your Vision” function, which is currently accessible, but make your voice heard about the importance of research in the economic recovery package using the best method available.