A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: All for One, One for All

Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate:

Monday’s presidential debate had a promising start when, during her opening remarks, Secretary Clinton listed “innovation and technology” as an investment priority, but neither candidate touched on the need for faster medical progress or a rock solid public health system. Read more on the debate on our Campaign for Cures blog. If you feel so inclined, tweet Mr. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) and Secretary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) and ask them to make use of the next debate to tell Americans what they will do to fight health threats - ongoing like cancer and emerging like Zika - that rob Americans of time, independence and hope. Do the same for vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine (@timkaine) and Mike Pence (@mike_pence). Their first debate is on October 4.

Secretary Clinton did discuss the need for medical innovation in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article. Importantly, she stated that she would: “work tirelessly with anyone dedicated to improving our families’ health…” I hope Mr. Trump shares that “all for one and one for all” perspective and that we can truly work across the public-private ecosystem to achieve improved health. Congressional candidates have been actively sharing their perspectives on research and innovation; our interactive map now boasts more than 500 quotes. Don’t see your candidates’ statements? Send them a message urging them to participate!

The Senate passed the CR Wednesday night, the House quickly followed suit, and the President signed the bill into law today. As expected, the final package funds the government through December 9 and includes $1.1 billion in funding to address the Zika health crisis.

While the CR has been monopolizing the attention of policymakers this week, it is clear our champions have not forgotten about Cures. House 21st Century Cures leaders released a statement yesterday pledging their commitment to completing Cures this year. Their Senate counterparts released a similar joint statement shortly after, and both chambers’ top leadership place a high priority on completing Cures. There have been media reports that agreement has been reached on a slimmed down package with reduced, but still significant, funding for NIH and FDA. We’ll keep you posted on that. Check out our guest blog post on Cures for Research!America member the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS).
 
This week I participated in Georgia BIO’s 2016 Innovation Summit, where I joined former Congressman and BIO CEO, Jim Greenwood, and President of North American Operations for UCB, Gillian Cannon, in a discussion about how to translate the concept of value-based care into a system that is shaped by patients, not imposed upon them, and that drives progress rather than stifling it. During the summit, I released a new survey of Georgia residents which reinforced some basic truths consistently found in national surveys: Americans recognize the importance of medical research, and they want federal and state policymakers to fund and incentivize more of it.

Lastly, we hope you will join us next week (October 4 at noon) for our Capitol Hill briefing, Oral Health in an Aging Nation: An Unmet Public Health Challenge. RSVP here or email Rachel Weissman at rweissman@researchamerica.org.

Sincerely,

Mary Woolley

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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