United for Medical Research

Dear Research Advocate: Budget Uncertainty Deepens The House Appropriations Committee has postponed this week’€™s scheduled consideration of the Labor-Health and Human Services (Labor-H) funding measure. A New York Times article indicated that the bill protects NIH funding; but, given how low the overall spending number is for Labor-H, “protected” is most likely interpreted as the NIH being cut less than other agencies, themselves highly valued. The distance between the Senate (passed) and House (estimated) Labor-H appropriations ’€” in excess of 20% ’€” sets the stage for another continuing resolution (CR). What actually does happen next is uncertain, which is why advocacy is essential...
Dear Research Advocate: Budget Uncertainty Deepens The House Appropriations Committee has postponed this week’€™s scheduled consideration of the Labor-Health and Human Services (Labor-H) funding measure. A New York Times article indicated that the bill protects NIH funding; but, given how low the overall spending number is for Labor-H, “protected” is most likely interpreted as the NIH being cut less than other agencies, themselves highly valued. The distance between the Senate (passed) and House (estimated) Labor-H appropriations ’€” in excess of 20% ’€” sets the stage for another continuing resolution (CR). What actually does happen next is uncertain, which is why advocacy is essential...
Dr. Wallace H. Coulter Coulter. Medical diagnostics. See a link? Coulter is one-half of Beckman Coulter, a Research!America member and a company that boasts nearly $6 billion in market capitalization . And that half of a multi-billion-dollar, multinational company began with research on paint for the U.S. Navy. Such unlikely beginnings are the reason that Wallace Coulter has been named the first recipient of the Golden Goose Award for 2013 . More winners will be named during the coming months. The press release announcing the award explains Coulter’€™s research: In his time away from working for various electronics companies in the 1940s, Coulter built a lab in his garage and earned a grant...
Photo credit: Smithsonian This month ’€œGenome: Unlocking Life’s Code,’€ first state-of-the-art exhibition about genome science, opened at the Museum of Natural History in partnership with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) . The exhibit boasts cutting-edge interactives, 3D models, custom animations and engaging videos of real-life stories. According to Dr. Eric D. Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “This exhibition reflects a remarkably productive collaboration between components of two scientific icons of the U.S. government – the Smithsonian...
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...
We’€™ve heard plenty in the media about sequestration’€™s impact to federal agencies including furloughs and short-lived’€”delays at airports, but how is the biomedical research community dealing with the across-the-board cuts? The word ’€œfurlough’€ is something you would never hear in a research lab; time-sensitive research experiments cannot simply be put on hold. So how will the shortfall in budgets be met? Many researchers and universities are making tough decisions that could delay promising studies and result in layoffs. Below are resources with more details about sequestration’€™s impact to science and the economy. Research!America’€™s sequestration fact sheet . There are many more...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress has passed a spending bill for what remains of the current fiscal year, which ends September 30. Preliminary agency funding levels have been reported by Nature . The appropriations process remains important for making up some small amount of the ground lost to sequestration, but as long as sequestration remains the law of the land, annual cuts to NIH, FDA and our nation’€™s other health research agencies are all but assured ; and with it, the insidious ripple effect of damage to grantees, vendors, and the pharma, bio and device industries that partner with researchers to develop the products patients await. That’€™s the bottom line. We must remind our...
Dear Research Advocate, The debate over how to stop sequestration rages on, with the president weighing in this week even as some influential Members of Congress hold fast to a do-nothing strategy. Now it’€™s time for us all to speak out! Along with our partners, we are pulling out the stops TODAY with a coordinated Day of Action. In just 10 minutes you can call and email your representatives, as well as congressional leadership. Then ask everyone in your networks — professional and personal — to do the same. Use this link to find our e-action alert and click here for access to congressional emails and phone numbers. Congress pays attention to volumes of communication; act now to assure...
Dear Research Advocate, To call attention to the unintended consequences of the sequester, we held a press briefing today in partnership with United for Medical Research. Two Members of Congress who are still in town, Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA), spoke about the high priority the nation must place on NIH and about the usefulness of data from a new national public opinion poll showing that 51% of Americans say that across-the-board cuts are not the right way to reduce the deficit. To see more poll results for use in your advocacy, click here . Other speakers this morning spoke about what’€™s at stake for everyone who cares about the research enterprise: patient hopes for...
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...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln