A weekly advocacy message from Mary Woolley: Never settle

Mary Woolley
Dear Research Advocate,
"Never Settle" is the empowering guiding theme used by Janssen Pharmaceuticals to underscore the emphasis the company places on innovation to benefit patients. In my visit to their Spring House, PA, site today to participate in a worldwide town hall, I was struck by how their theme epitomizes the advocacy drive and determination of Research!America and all our partners in advocacy for research. I was glad to report to Janssen's teams that more and more members of Congress are championing research and innovation to benefit patients worldwide.
 
Consider the comments of Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) about the FY16 Senate “Labor-H” appropriations draft, which reportedly includes a $2 billion bump for NIH: "I hope that we can maintain that and hope that it becomes a pattern for the next few years to try to do a significant increase for NIH every year." The $2 billion boost -- if finally enacted -- is the largest funding increase NIH has seen since the doubling that ended in 2003.
 
The Senate draft has not yet been released publicly, so we don’t know what it includes for AHRQ and CDC.  But we are hopeful. The budget deal that makes increased investment possible was truly a game changer, says Research!America’s Ellie Dehoney in Modern Healthcare. Yesterday, we sent a letter highlighted in The Hill, that makes the case for robust FDA funding. We followed up today with letters to the leaders of Labor-H and “CJS”. Remember, FY16 appropriations are still a work in progress!  Now is the time to weigh in, and we’d be glad to help - email Ellie.
 
On Tuesday, Research!America hosted a webinar featuring the Director of AHRQ, Dr. Richard Kronick, and Dr. Lisa Simpson, CEO and president of AcademyHealth. The current (pre-budget deal) Labor-H Appropriations bill in the House would eliminate funding for AHRQ! You and I know that’s profoundly short-sighted; but now we must convince Congress. We will be joining AcademyHealth on November 17 for their #SaveAHRQ Twitter Party. We urge you to join us in this fight.
 
To recognize National Diabetes Month, we have released a new addition to our fact sheet series, Diabetes and Oral Health. This is the final installment in a trio of oral health fact sheets we produced this year underscoring how crucially important oral health is to overall health. Advances in research and expanded access to oral health care have made a profound difference in the lives of many Americans, but in both arenas the battle is by no means won.
 
Despite being focussed on the economy, Tuesday night’s GOP debate overlooked the projected costs of diseases that will cripple our nation’s economy. By the time of the 2020 presidential election, the cost of caring for individuals with mental disorders and substance abuse disorders will surpass $280 billion nearly 15% of adults over the age of 30 will have chronic kidney failure, and the direct medical costs for individuals with cancer will reach $157 billion. Presidential candidates – and all candidates for federal office --  have an obligation to tell Americans how they plan to address these and other staggering health threats. The next presidential debate is this Saturday; don’t miss the opportunity to live tweet your questions. Check out our Campaign for Cures toolkit for ideas!
 
In fact, join the Campaign! Our partners to date include the Society for Neuroscience, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Heart Association, University of Chicago School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network and...you?  To join this influential group of organizations please contact Mike Coburn.

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana