sequestration

By Shaun O’€™Brien, co-president of the Penn Science Policy Group. O’€™Brien is a fifth-year immunology graduate student at the Perelman School of Medicine (a Research!America member). Shaun O’€™Brien In response to the need to voice the concerns of young biomedical graduates and post-docs over the federal funding climate, graduate student Mike Allegrezza founded the Science Policy Group at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the past 6 months, our group has been involved in advocacy efforts along with examining other specific issues pertaining to careers, graduate education and other hot-button issues. In terms of advocacy, the group has been very active in opposing sequestration, the...
July 9, 2013 The Senate subcommittee markup of the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education FY14 spending bill goes a step in the right direction in softening the blow sequestration has dealt to the hopes and expectations of patients and their families. Sequestration’€™s across-the-board spending cuts have sent no-confidence signals across the full ecosystem of medical research and innovation in the public and private sector. There’€™s a reason that, according to a recent national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America, nearly half of Americans (48%) do not believe we are making enough progress in medical research in the U.S. This nation can’€™t push ahead forcefully with one...
U.S. Capitol As July 4 th approaches, we have another opportunity to contact elected officials via social media during the Congressional recess (July 1 ’€“ 5) to drive home the message that medical innovation should be protected from further cuts. Each day we will highlight a specific theme that can be customized with your statistics and patient/researcher stories. For example, on Wednesday we’€™ll focus on the drug discovery pipeline because basic research fuels private sector innovation which translates into new diagnostics, devices and products to improve the health of all Americans. Follow us on Twitter @ResearchAmerica and use the hashtag #curesnotcuts to join in the national...
The TMJ Association, Ltd. (TMJA), a Research!America member, was founded in 1989 in Milwaukee, WI by two TMJ patients. The organization’€™s mission is to improve the quality of health care and lives of everyone affected by Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), commonly called TMJ. TMD are a complex and poorly understood set of conditions characterized by pain in the jaw joint and surrounding tissues with limitation in jaw movements. TMD pain may range from mild discomfort to severe and intractable accompanied by jaw dysfunction necessitating a feeding tube for sustenance. For many sufferers, their ability to chew, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe is limited. It is estimated...
By John Seffrin and Michael Caligiuri An excerpt of an op-ed by John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Research!America Board member, and Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute published in U.S News & World Report . Michael A. Caligiuri, MD John R. Seffrin, PhD Clinical trials are often a patient’€™s only viable treatment option for surviving cancer ’€“ a disease that kills 1,500 people every day in this country. But haphazard federal budget cuts, a consequence of the so-called “sequester” that was initiated in March,...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, I joined Diane Rehm and other guests on her nationally syndicated radio program to discuss how sequestration impacts “ordinary Americans.” I was struck by how deep and distressing the damage is, in so many sectors, including but not limited to our own. Yet somehow the pain is not acute enough to force action. What strikes me is how low our collective expectations have sunk when it comes to reinvigorating U.S. economic growth and prosperity. Our nation can do better; why don’€™t we maintain high expectations and hold our elected officials accountable for setting the policy stage to accomplish them? Policy makers should protect discretionary spending, make...
Dear Research Advocate: According to our new national public opinion poll on clinical trials and related topics, most Americans are willing to share their personal health data to advance research, and 72% would be willing to participate in a clinical trial if recommended by their doctor. This complements what we know from other polling, i.e. that Americans want research to proceed at a pace of scientific opportunity. Yet we continue to lose ground in the gridlocked political environment, which, by its inaction, is dashing the hopes of patients and families anxious for new therapies and cures. What’€™s wrong with this picture? It isn’€™t as though research hasn’€™t yielded both societal and...
Alan I. Leshner, PhD In a recent op-ed published in the Toronto Star Dr. Alan Leshner, Research!America board member, writes that federal deficits in the United States and Canada ’€œpose a significant threat’€ to basic research. He notes that ’€œsome policy-makers seem to value near-term, industry-focused science more highly.’€ But adds that basic science has larger potential payoffs than applied research. ’€œThe most well-known example of life-changing basic research is of course Sir Alexander Fleming ’€™s accidental 1928 discovery of a mould (penicillin) that seemed to repel bacteria. German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen ’€™s 19th century efforts to pass cathode rays through glass now...
Tell Congress to Champion it, not Chop it. With sequestration now in effect, across-the-board cuts have eliminated vital funding from the CDC’€™s budget. And even before sequestration, CDC has weathered several years of arbitrary budget cuts. This underfunding is crippling CDC’€™s ability to protect Americans from deadly pandemics, bioterrorisim, drug-resistant strains of infections, and other major public health threats. A recent Gallup poll indicates that many Americans understand the critical role CDC plays ’€¦ but policy makers aren’€™t getting the message. Help set things straight by sending a message to your representatives about the importance of CDC. And remember to get the word out...
This post is an excerpt of a Bloomberg column by Albert R. Hunt on how sequestration hurts medical research, especially in the fight to better understand’€”and hopefully cure’€” Alzheimer’€™s disease. Albert R. Hunt Many Republic ans, and Democrats, never thought the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration would take effect. After all, they might produce dangerous, if unintended, consequences such as potentially bankrupting the U.S. health-care system, along with millions of families. Typical Washington hyperbole, right? It actually is happening under sequestration, which kicked in three months ago, a product of America’€™s political dysfunction. Because the cuts...

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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