advocacy

Dear Research Advocate, The Nobel prize winners announced this week showcase the role of both private sector (William Campbell’s work at Merck) and federal funding (Paul Modrich’s and Aziz Sancar's NIH and NSF grants) in driving scientific progress, and more broadly, the profound return science delivers to our nation and the world. Read our statements on the winners . The next few weeks are crucial for science funding and policies. Congressional leadership is working with the President to arrive at a budget deal that lifts the sequester caps, allowing for increases in NIH and other research agencies. If a deal lifting the caps is not made before Speaker Boehner retires, the new speaker (...
This article appeared on October 1, 2015 in The Huffington Post. “What are those things about breast cancer that keep you up at night?” It’s a question I’m asked frequently in my role as president and CEO of the largest breast cancer organization. And to be honest, there are many things. Among them is a misconception I sometimes hear that because breast cancer still kills, we’ve made no progress over the past three decades. And, because we have so more to do in breast cancer, what science, medicine, technology and a large and dedicated breast cancer community have already accomplished means little. But ask any patient who has another year of life thanks to therapies like Tamoxifen,...
Dear Research Advocate, It was down to the wire, but Congress passed and the President signed a continuing resolution (CR) yesterday evening to keep the government operating, at least through December 11, 2015. Speaker Boehner’s sudden resignation last Friday came as a shock. But since he has made it clear there is still a lot he’d like to accomplish before he leaves Congress on October 30, hopes have soared in many quarters! He is reportedly working with Leader Pelosi (D-CA-12), Senate leadership and the White House on a longer term budget deal, one that we hope will jettison sequestration. Now is a good time to thank members of Congress for taking action to prevent a shutdown, and urge...
Dear Research Advocate, It was a privilege to address the terrific crowd at last night’s kick off reception for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rally for Medical Research. Forceful champions including Senators Durbin (D-IL), Moran (R-KS), Murray (D-WA) and Klobuchar (D-MN) joined NIH Director Francis Collins to thank and encourage the more than 300 advocates who are blanketing both Houses of Congress today. Adding in social media attention, the Rally is likely to reach every member of Congress. During remarks at a Rally breakfast this morning, House “Labor-H” Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04) revved up the crowd when he said that “the stars are...
Dear Research Advocate, A refreshing number of members of Congress have allocated time during this recess to champion medical research, among them Senators Capito (R-WV), Franken (D-MN), and Kirk (R-IL), and Representatives Burgess (R-TX-26), Dold (R-IL-10), Israel (D-NY-03), Lance (R-NJ-07) and Walden (R-OR-02). Rep. Dold, for example, visited Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as well as private industries in his district, like Marathon, to discuss ways to speed up medical innovation. Visiting the genetics lab at Northwestern, Rep. Dold commented: “We spent a little over 330 billion dollars this year in treating diabetes alone. Can we get some [additional] research...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America is proud to serve as a lead sponsor of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rally for Medical Research, a two-day event in Washington, DC next month. The Rally will unite individuals from across the medical research advocacy community to push for making National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding a higher national priority. Events begin on Wednesday, September 16 with an afternoon advocacy training and an evening congressional reception. On Thursday, after a breakfast featuring remarks by House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04), nearly 200 advocates will participate in Hill meetings. Add your...
Dear Research Advocate, Although we are 452 days away from Election Day 2016, with all the media attention right now one would be forgiven for thinking it is coming up next month! The overwhelming majority of scientists surveyed by the Science Advisory Board in advance of last Thursday’s debate said that science and research should be a topic of discussion. But as predicted by the same 90+ percent majority, science wasn’t even mentioned, underscoring the importance for scientists, patients, and all who care about research to engage candidates before the next debate. If you -- a potential voter -- don’t let candidates know you care about medical progress and science writ large, they will...
Chronic diseases are a formidable public health challenge for the U.S. with more than 50 percent of Americans living daily with one or more chronic health conditions. The impact of these illnesses can be debilitating for individuals, families and local communities. Approximately 75 cents of every dollar spent on health care in 2009 was related to chronic illnesses which totaled $1.7 trillion . The main weapon available to treat chronic diseases, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, is medications. The average number of medications prescribed per capita increased from 10.1 in 1999 to 12.7 in 2014 . In fact, one of the most effective means to improve health outcomes is to ensure...
Dear Research Advocate, Research!America is on the Hill and in the media continuing to make the case for timely action in Congress to boost medical progress. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the 21st Century Cures Act and the Senate’s Innovation initiative in a recent issue of Roll Call . The bottom line is this: we need to keep this ball rolling. Congress has a notoriously short attention span - too many issues, not enough time - so advocates should not only be pushing for what they want to see in the Senate bill, they should be pushing to see a Senate bill ASAP. Unless you’ve managed to steer clear of all forms of media in recent days, you probably know that the first official...
Dear Research Advocate, The “moment” for research that we’ve been experiencing on Capitol Hill is being echoed by Presidential candidates; is this perhaps the start of a wave of conversation on the campaign trail? On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee, which is not the committee of jurisdiction for NIH or FDA, or intellectual property, held a hearing on these very topics. Committee Chairman and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) framed the hearing as an opportunity to explore strategies for speeding cures to patients. The hearing might have devolved into an “FDA regulation is bad” fest, and to be honest there was some of that, but the Senators present, along with the witnesses,...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America