Dear Research Advocate, In a week with lots of mixed signals on health care, we released new survey data that shows a striking increase in public support for empowering patients (and we are all patients!) to participate in clinical trials. A strong majority say joining a clinical trial is as valuable as donating blood. And a new question shows the public would value providers discussing clinical trials as a routine part of health care. These findings come just as NIH’s “All of Us” initiative launches a new grant program to encourage enrollment in the ambitious one million-enrollee clinical research effort. Read more about our survey , and plan to attend our National Health Research Forum in...
An overwhelming majority (86%) of Americans say discussions about clinical trials should be a part of standard of care, according to the latest national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America. The most recent survey found 37% of Americans say they would ‘very likely’ participate in a clinical trial if their doctor recommended, an 11% increase from 2013 but a strong majority (74%) say neither their doctor nor other health care professional has ever talked to them about medical research. “The option to participate in a clinical trial, when appropriate, should be a routine part of the health care encounter and ACRO will continue to work with Research!America and others to...
The gap between increasing global health risks and declining levels of investment in research and development (R&D) is growing, according to a newly released report , Return on Innovation: Why global health R&D is a smart investment for the United States. Released by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and Policy Cures Research, the study notes global health R&D investments have declined since peaking in 2009 despite the health impact and economic returns from these investments. A notable example is the polio vaccine which resulted in cost savings of $180 billion on treatment relative to the $26 million invested in vaccine research and development. The government...
Dear Research Advocate, I was honored to speak yesterday to a group of early-career global health researchers, plus alums and mentors, gathered for orientation and training under the auspices of NIH’s Fogarty International Center. Following my prepared remarks we had a terrific informal discussion. A question from a researcher who had grown up in Kentucky triggered a thoughtful exchange: “how do I explain the value of my work to a resident of rural Kentucky, including why her taxes should pay for it?” These two linked but separate questions can seem quite daunting if, like most researchers, you have never been oriented, much less trained, to consider the public context of research. We’re...
One in five Americans suffer from mental illness but less than half receive treatment. Teresa Pasquini, whose son was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 16, spoke about the difficulties in accessing treatment at a program about mental health at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on July 18 sponsored by The Hill . “He has fallen through every crack of our system,” Pasquini said. “We are dealing with a system of lucks and heroics rather than a continuous system of care.” Pasquini, an advocate for mental health, joined federal and state leaders, health officials, caregivers and academics for the discussion titled, The State of Mental Health: Challenges and Solutions, supported by Janssen...
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the “crown jewel of federal spending,” said Dr. Keith Yamamoto at a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the Coalition for the Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on July 14 titled, NIH 101: An Introduction to the National Institutes of Health. Yamamoto, vice chancellor for research at the University of California, San Francisco and Research!America board member, was the featured speaker at the event, sponsored by the Coalition for Life Sciences and the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus. He discussed the mission and budget of the NIH, as well as the rigorous scientific review process that ensures the budget achieves...
Addiction susceptibility, pain management, and opioid alternatives research emerged as themes in a program July 13 aimed at combatting the opioid epidemic. Policymakers, public health experts, and advocates discussed these and related topics during Roll Call Live’s event, Fighting the Opioid Crisis, in Washington D.C. Representative Ann McLane Kuster (NH) cited several studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on addiction research. The study found that using opioids for 30 days after prescription resulted in 35% of users still using opioids a year later, she said. “We don’t have the research for the physician to know of those [patients]...coming in the door...
The July/August 2017 Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month: A recap of congressional briefings hosted by Research!America on the societal burden of migraine, and advances in clinical research. Leaders in government, industry, patient advocacy and academia will be among the panelists for Research!America’s 2017 National Health Research Forum on Thursday, September 7 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Registration is now open for the Forum. Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley explained why scientists should be actively engaged as advocates during a session at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2017 conference. Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK),...
Dear Research Advocate, Former Congressman John Porter, Research!America’s esteemed Chair Emeritus, does not mince words in his Washington Post LTE today, cautioning against state-level education policies that could be misused to subvert science education. Treating knowledge that has been affirmed by years of scientific exploration as negotiable jeopardizes our nation’s ability to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities before us. It is a path to decline rather than progress. We cannot afford to shy away from straight talk about misguided policies. Fortunately for our nation, John never does. This afternoon, the House Labor-H Subcommittee, formerly chaired by Mr. Porter, “marked up...
Dry Eye Disease (DED) is on the rise, yet the research to find new treatments for the condition remains underfunded, says Dr. David Sullivan, founder of the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS). Experts gathered for a briefing in Washington, D.C. on July 12 to discuss the upcoming TFOS Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II™) report which will be released in The Ocular Surface journal in late July. Dr. Paul Karpecki, moderator of the briefing says, “increased computer screen time” has played a role in the increased prevalence of dry eye disease. Epidemiologist Dr. Susan Vitale said other risk factors for developing dry eye include sex, age, and use of contact lenses. Dr. Janine Austin-...

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America’s economic destiny lies in innovation, technology, science and research.
The Honorable John E. Porter