medical research

Dear Research Advocate, Congress is back in Washington but still in campaign mode, making its decisions with the election very much in mind. A 6-month continuing resolution (C.R.) is expected to pass momentarily. The C.R. would put off appropriations decision-making until the new Congress has gotten under way, flat-funding the government through March of next year at fiscal 2012 levels. The atmosphere of fiscal uncertainty for the agencies that fund research, and everyone seeking that funding, is in fact demoralizing in the extreme. Compounding the problem is that the C.R. does nothing to address the looming problem of sequestration, which is scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013. The...
Dear Research Advocate, In last week’€™s letter, I highlighted research-related themes in the Republican National Platform. The good news included explicit support for basic and applied research and a pledge to make the R&D tax credit permanent. The bad news included strident criticism of FDA ’€” such that support for adequate funding was unclear ’€” and opposition to embryonic stem cell research. The Democratic platform asserts that Democrats will ’€œdouble funding for key basic research agencies.’€ It also goes further than the Republican platform in improving the research and development tax credit and places a very strong emphasis on science education as critical to our innovation...
Dear Research Advocate, As you know, the Republican Party Platform was unveiled Tuesday during the convention in Tampa. There are direct references to medical and health research and other statements that ’€” if not explicit ’€” definitely imply the need for such research. We can draw from both to enhance our advocacy efforts. The following exemplifies the direct and indirect nature of the platform’€™s embrace of medical and health research: ’€œWe support federal investment in health care delivery systems and solutions creating innovative means to provide greater, more cost-effective access to high quality health care. We also support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical...
Dear Research Advocate, As the political conventions get underway, we have further evidence that voters want candidates to make research for health a prominent issue, now and after the election. Our latest national public opinion poll, conducted a week ago, shows voters want to elect candidates who value and highly prioritize the importance of medical progress. Among the highlights: 90% say it’€™s important for candidates to address medical research; 59% say elected officials in Washington are not paying enough attention to combating deadly diseases, so much so that 63% say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress in his ’€œfirst 100 days in office.’€ And...
As Political Conventions Begin, Voters say it's Important for Candidates to Address Medical Research On the eve of the political conventions, nearly two-thirds of likely voters say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his €œfirst 100 days in office,€ according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America. And nearly three-quarters of those polled say it’€™s important for candidates for the presidency and Congress to have a science advisor. The findings reveal deep concerns among voters about the lack of attention candidates and elected officials have assigned to research. €œResearch and innovation, despite its...
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has launched a new initiative which focuses on the myriad benefits of health and medical research, particularly as it relates to patient care. The initiative, titled From Hope to Cures , uses patient videos as well as statistical evidence and graphics to illustrate how the billions of dollars spent by pharmaceutical companies on research are extending and enriching the lives of millions of people. This new initiative represents a push for research, progress, and hope. There are numerous items on the initiative’€™s website including links to articles ranging from drug discovery and development to a study which predicts...
Dear Research Advocate, American achievement continues to astound. This week we watched NASA’€™s Jet Propulsion Laboratory send one of the most advanced space exploration vehicles ever constructed to a planet hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth and elegantly deliver it to the planet’€™s surface. Mars today, why not a cure for our nation’€™s deadliest diseases tomorrow? As advocates, we cannot take no for answer when it comes to assuring we have the resources, policies and determination we need to defeat disease and disability. Why should we be reluctant to demand that this be a national priority? As Margaret Mead once said, ’€œNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful,...
Dear Research Advocate, Just before leaving Washington for five weeks, Congressional leaders Harry Reid and John Boehner announced agreement on a continuing resolution (’€œC.R.’€) to fund the government until March 2013. In what has become routine, appropriations decisions will be deferred far beyond the October 1 beginning of the federal fiscal year. The leaders’€™ agreement, motivated by the need to avert a government shutdown, would leave NIH, FDA, AHRQ, CDC and the NSF with steady-state budgets, which is at least a better outcome than proposals for cuts pending before the House right now. But don’€™t take your eye off the ball! All kinds of mischief is possible between now and March,...
Dear Research Advocate, Sequestration, the looming fiscal cliff, a dangerous House appropriations bill ’€“ all were addressed in our members-only call yesterday with Chairman John Porter. As Porter pointed out, we have to keep the big picture in mind, pushing for tax and entitlement reform as part of the larger ’€œfix,’€ AND, in the immediate, we have to cry foul about the House bill and sequestration. Right now, while Congress is still in session, we must flood their offices, and the Administration, with calls and e-mails. Take 30 seconds to send a message to your representatives to remind them that medical research should be among our nation’€™s highest priorities. And – as was...
Dear Research Advocate, ’€œShell-shocked’€ is a fair way to describe reaction to the latest appropriations bill in which the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee released its funding recommendations. The NIH was flat-funded and seriously micromanaged in unprecedented ways, CDC funding was cut deeply, and funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was terminated . See our press statement on the bill here and the Nature article that included our quote. The Science Insider article also has details. As if this wasn’€™t bad enough, an amendment to the subcommittee bill would have slashed another $8.3 billion ’€“ fortunately...

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