AHRQ

Dear Research Advocate: Congress continues to pay particular attention to – and make decisions bearing on – the pace of medical progress. To briefly count the ways: The Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee heard testimony yesterday from agency heads within HHS about the significance of health-related spending, including spending on medical and health research. Read our written testimony here . Congressman Upton (R-MI-06), the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (which has jurisdiction over authorizing legislation for NIH, CDC, FDA and AHRQ) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO-01), a member of the Committee, launched their 21st Century Cures initiative with a...
Dear Research Advocate: The doubling of the National Institutes of Health budget between FY99 and FY03 is an example of Congress at its most productive ’€¦ and it hinged on bipartisanship. A small group of Republicans and Democrats recognized the power of medical progress, and they worked together to increase the budget baseline for NIH by nearly $11.5 billion. Without that doubling, and with the stagnation of virtually all non-defense discretionary funding that followed on its heels, which groundbreaking medical discoveries would still lie dormant? Which of those we hold dear would not be alive today? Research!America Chair and former Congressman John Porter, who chaired the House Labor-...
Dear Research Advocate: There is still time ’€” if you act quickly ’€” to urge your representative to sign on to the House letter authored by Representatives McKinley (R-WV-01), Davis (D-CA-53), Carson (D-IN-07) and King (R-NY-02) urging more support for NIH ’€” it will be finalized by close of business today. A similar Senate letter, authored by Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC), will be finalized Tuesday, April 1; ask your senators to sign on today! An appropriations mechanism known as a “tap” made the news Tuesday when, during a hearing on NIH, Members of Congress asked advocates questions about the use of a tap by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to move money from...
The House and the Senate have begun deliberations on funding levels for NIH, CDC, AHRQ, NSF and FDA for FY15. Pressure to cut federal spending this midterm election year is enormous, and we need advocates to reach out to their representatives. Members in both houses of Congress are accepting input from constituents on which priorities they should fight for. Let your representatives know that combating disabling and deadly diseases is a national imperative, and funding for the agencies committed to this fight should be included on their list of appropriations priorities. Contact them TODAY and share this alert on Facebook, Twitter and with your networks. Take action!
Dear Research Advocate: The president’€™s budget for FY15 was released Tuesday. While mostly symbolic, the president’€™s funding recommendations often serve as the ’€œfirst bid’€ in the negotiations that result in agency funding levels. That is why the president’€™s proposals for the agencies that collectively drive medical progress and play such a pivotal role in the health and safety of Americans are of such concern. The president’€™s budget proposes only slight increases for NIH, FDA and NSF in FY15, and significant cuts for CDC and AHRQ. As I said in The Huffington Post and in other media, President Obama’€™s budget does not reflect the potential the U.S. has to advance scientific...
The president’€™s budget does not reflect the potential the U.S. has to advance scientific discovery. While welcome, the minor increases for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Food and Drug Administration diminish our ability to accelerate the pace of medical innovation, which saves countless lives, helps our nation meet its solemn commitment to wounded warriors, and is a major driver of new businesses and jobs. We’€™re also disappointed with reduced funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. AHRQ and CDC cannot be neglected in the name of deficit reduction, and it is truly...
We applaud portions of the omnibus bill that support the nation’s research, innovation and public health ecosystem, which works to assure our future health and economic well-being. The growth in funding for the Food and Drug Administration, fueled in part by the common-sense return of the 2013 user fees, as well as the increases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Science Foundation are welcome news. But funding for the National Institutes of Health has been kept well below the level of scientific opportunity. We must eliminate sequestration once and for all, and grow our investment in NIH in order to slow and...
Dear Research Advocate: Here’€™s a holiday surprise! I am not referring to the budget deal, but to the fact that Merriam-Webster’€™s 2013 word of the year ’€” determined via the greatest increase in online searches ’€” is “science.” I find this to be refreshing news, providing evidence that interest in science is growing, which in turn is an indication of substantial room for researchers and research advocates to contribute to public understanding and support of science. We appear to have an opportunity ready for the taking to overcome the “invisibility” problem that contributes to holding decision makers back from assigning a higher priority to science. And speaking of those decision...
Dear Research Advocate: As I’€™m sure you’€™ve heard, the Joint Budget Committee released a two-year budget agreement Tuesday night. The package involves $63 billion in partial sequestration relief over two years, offset by fees (not taxes!) and a wide variety of cost-sharing arrangements, AKA ’€œpay fors.’€ While it remains unclear whether user fees will be subjected to any sequester in 2014 and 2015, the already-sequestered FDA user fees are locked up and cannot be used to accelerate medical advances. This is a missed opportunity that patients can’€™t afford. While not a perfect deal in many respects, the House is expected to approve the Murray-Ryan budget deal within moments, and the...
To protect medical and health research, policy makers must eliminate sequestration. This remains Research!America’€™s top-line message, because it is sequestration that poses the greatest threat to all discretionary funding, including medical and health research conducted by NIH, CDC, FDA, NSF, AHRQ, DOD ’€¦ and the list goes on. Advocates for medical and health research have made a huge impact over the years on funding and policies supportive of medical and health research, including playing a key role in reducing sequestration in 2013. We are asking you to weigh in again to help address sequestration in FY14 and FY15. On Wednesday, the co-chairs of the committee charged with establishing...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco