Campaign for Cures

Dear Research Advocate, The President released his FY17 budget on Tuesday, launching this year’s appropriations process. Unfortunately, his proposed budget falls short of expectations and far short of putting adequate resources to work to find solutions for what ails us. Cuts to the baseline budgets of NIH and CDC , and flat funding for FDA 's drug ($492 million) and biologics ($215 million) programs are proposed. While temporary, mandatory funding is provided for several important initiatives -- $755 million for the cancer moonshot initiative, $107 million for precision medicine, and $1.8 billion to address the Zika virus, this nation cannot sustain a robust research infrastructure with...
Dear Research Advocate: As task force meetings for Vice President Biden’s “moonshot” initiative began this week, a new public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America showed that 50% of Americans favor a tax increase to fund cancer research. While this manner of funding the moonshot is not currently on the table, the survey finding underscores the high priority Americans place on curing cancer. The President told Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan that assuring resources for research, cancer in particular, is one of his five priorities for working across the aisle this year. His FY17 budget proposal -- scheduled for release next Tuesday -- will reportedly request additional...
Dear Research Advocate: With great pleasure, we made a big announcement this week -- Chairmen Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Tom Cole (R-OK-04) will be receiving the Whitehead Award at our Annual Awards Dinner on March 16 at the Mellon Auditorium. I hope you will be there to join us in honoring these champions for the tremendous commitment they have shown to advancing medical progress. By now you may have heard the news that the Cures initiative is on the move! The Senate HELP Committee released its plan to consider multiple pieces of legislation that support the same objectives as the House 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6). Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced the Committee’s...
Dear Research Advocate: As the new year begins we are hard at work building on the momentum created by Congress’ strong support of research in 2015 to ensure that robust funding and pro-innovation policies will be the norm, not the exception, in the years ahead. I applaud the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN) for sponsoring a terrific full page ad in The Washington Post yesterday, offering thanks to Congress and thanks to research for providing new hope to patients and their families. Another group to thank is all the many partners in advocacy -- you! -- who have worked together so effectively to achieve the successes of the last year. Advocacy is indeed a team sport,...
Dear Research Advocate, The President’s signature on hard fought funding and tax legislation was enough to end the year on a high note, but there’s more good news: In an interview on C-SPAN , Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said what many of us have been waiting to hear: “Number one, what we want to turn our attention to [in 2016] is what we call the Innovation Bill.” After the 21st Century Cures pay-fors were used to help offset lost revenues in the FY16 Omnibus/Tax package, the prospects for mandatory NIH and FDA funding seemed weak. However, not only did Chairman Alexander reiterate his support for mandatory funding, but House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman...
Candidates running for national office never miss an opportunity to share their solutions on the many problems facing our country with voters. From terrorism to transportation to education, the presidential candidates clamor for attention on hot button issues of the day. Yet they are not outlining their proposed solutions for healing what literally ails Americans - Alzheimer's disease, cancer, mental illnesses, and many other health threats. Despite the prevalence of disease and its impact to our health, economy and national security, candidates seem to be giving this issue a pass. Only 14% of Americans say they are very well-informed of the positions of current candidates for President...
Dear Research Advocate, "Never Settle" is the empowering guiding theme used by Janssen Pharmaceuticals to underscore the emphasis the company places on innovation to benefit patients. In my visit to their Spring House, PA, site today to participate in a worldwide town hall, I was struck by how their theme epitomizes the advocacy drive and determination of Research!America and all our partners in advocacy for research. I was glad to report to Janssen's teams that more and more members of Congress are championing research and innovation to benefit patients worldwide. Consider the comments of Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) about the FY16 Senate “Labor-H” appropriations draft, which reportedly...
Over the course of his last few weeks before retiring, Speaker Boehner worked with fellow House and Senate leaders and the President to fashion a budget deal that increases the nation’s debt limit and provides an additional $80 billion above sequestration-level spending caps. Both non-defense and defense programs will receive $25 billion more in fiscal year 2016 (FY16) and $15 billion more in FY 2017. The House has passed this budget plan, and the Senate is expected to follow suit by Tuesday. See our statement . Passing this deal is step one. Step two is allocating top-line budget numbers across the 12 appropriations subcommittees (these allocations are known as “302(b)s”). This will likely...
Dear Research Advocate: Advocacy works. More members of Congress are speaking out in support of research, including at a Senate Labor-H Appropriations Subcommittee hearing featuring testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins and several NIH Institute Directors. Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) summed up the limitations created by the sequestration caps succinctly: “We cannot cap innovation, we cannot cap breakthroughs.” Labor-H Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) underscored the point that both the subcommittee and full appropriations committee support biomedical research as a high priority. The subcommittee’s Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke of...
A strong majority of Americans (81%) say medicines available today have improved their quality of life and even more (91%) say it is important to develop better medicines for conditions we currently treat, according to a national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America. But many respondents say candidates for President and Congress have done a poor job relating to the health expectations of Americans. Less than a quarter of respondents say candidates running for Congress listen to and understand the health concerns of Americans, and one-third say the same for presidential candidates. A majority of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and non-Hispanic whites all agree that...

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Sidebar Quote

You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter