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Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Each blog post aims to inform readers about the health and economic benefits of research.  

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As Political Conventions Begin, Voters say it's Important for Candidates to Address Medical Research On the eve of the political conventions, nearly two-thirds of likely voters say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his €œfirst 100 days in office,€ according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America. And nearly three-quarters of those polled say it’€™s important for candidates for the presidency and Congress to have a science advisor. The findings reveal deep concerns among voters about the lack of attention candidates and elected officials have assigned to research. €œResearch and innovation, despite its...
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has launched a new initiative which focuses on the myriad benefits of health and medical research, particularly as it relates to patient care. The initiative, titled From Hope to Cures , uses patient videos as well as statistical evidence and graphics to illustrate how the billions of dollars spent by pharmaceutical companies on research are extending and enriching the lives of millions of people. This new initiative represents a push for research, progress, and hope. There are numerous items on the initiative’€™s website including links to articles ranging from drug discovery and development to a study which predicts...
Dear Research Advocate, With Rep. Paul Ryan joining the Romney ticket, health is back on the national agenda. Partisan politics aside, this conversation is overdue, since health is indeed an issue that will make or bankrupt us. Research has always figured prominently in the wellbeing of Americans and America ’€“ research brought an end to the polio epidemic, which could have bankrupted the nation in the 1950s, and research is the only answer to the scourge of Alzheimer’€™s that threatens health, quality of life and our national checkbook today. And that is just a starting point for the conversation I hope you are having with everyone who wants to talk about the election. Take the...
Dear Research Advocate, American achievement continues to astound. This week we watched NASA’€™s Jet Propulsion Laboratory send one of the most advanced space exploration vehicles ever constructed to a planet hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth and elegantly deliver it to the planet’€™s surface. Mars today, why not a cure for our nation’€™s deadliest diseases tomorrow? As advocates, we cannot take no for answer when it comes to assuring we have the resources, policies and determination we need to defeat disease and disability. Why should we be reluctant to demand that this be a national priority? As Margaret Mead once said, ’€œNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful,...
WASHINGTON’€”August 7, 2012 ’€” Research!America, a nonprofit advocacy alliance, says too many congressional candidates are minimizing the importance of our nation’€™s faltering role in fighting deadly and disabling diseases as a campaign issue. Polling indicates that Americans rank medical research a high priority but also shows a majority of likely voters are not aware of their representatives’€™ views on research. Some candidates have indicated that they ’€œdon’€™t have time’€ to fill out a short questionnaire gauging their views on the importance of continued medical progress. Research!America and its partner organizations are calling on candidates to elevate the fight to save lives in...
The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a recent editorial supportive of medical research; though it appeared last week, it’s still worth sharing. The editorial, “ Worst possible time to cut research ,” ran July 30. Medical research is an important topic for Minnesota. In FY11, the state ranked 17th in awards and 12th in funding from the National Institutes of Health, thanks mostly to two organizations. The University of Minnesota, in downtown Minneapolis, earned 583 NIH awards and more than $264 million in funding. Eighty-five miles to the south, in Rochester, the Mayo Clinic (a Research!America member) earned 370 awards and more than $200 million in funding. The state is also home to a thriving...
Dear Research Advocate, Just before leaving Washington for five weeks, Congressional leaders Harry Reid and John Boehner announced agreement on a continuing resolution (’€œC.R.’€) to fund the government until March 2013. In what has become routine, appropriations decisions will be deferred far beyond the October 1 beginning of the federal fiscal year. The leaders’€™ agreement, motivated by the need to avert a government shutdown, would leave NIH, FDA, AHRQ, CDC and the NSF with steady-state budgets, which is at least a better outcome than proposals for cuts pending before the House right now. But don’€™t take your eye off the ball! All kinds of mischief is possible between now and March,...
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) Looking back on last week’€™s AIDS2012 Conference, it is easy to see the impact that Washington, DC, and the proximity to Congress had on the tone of the discussion. Throughout the week-long conference, many of the events, panels, workshops and sessions highlighted the role of federal funding for global health research and development, as well as the impact of actions by Congress on the future of HIV/AIDS research. At Wednesday’€™s session, ’€œ The U.S. Congress and the Global AIDS Epidemic ,’€ former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist led a conversation with Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), showcasing the...
Dear Research Advocate, Sequestration, the looming fiscal cliff, a dangerous House appropriations bill ’€“ all were addressed in our members-only call yesterday with Chairman John Porter. As Porter pointed out, we have to keep the big picture in mind, pushing for tax and entitlement reform as part of the larger ’€œfix,’€ AND, in the immediate, we have to cry foul about the House bill and sequestration. Right now, while Congress is still in session, we must flood their offices, and the Administration, with calls and e-mails. Take 30 seconds to send a message to your representatives to remind them that medical research should be among our nation’€™s highest priorities. And – as was...
When advocates speak with one voice, amazing things can happen. Here in the U.S., with help from high-visibility breast cancer advocates, the federal budget for breast cancer research has increased nearly eight-fold over a 20-year span. More recently, the National Alzheimer’€™s Project Act redoubles public efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease. The fight against AIDS stands as perhaps the most telling example of the power of advocacy. The voices of so many, amplified by entertainment heavyweights, have helped shine a light onto efforts at combating the disease, from prevention to treatment. Research, of course, plays no small part in either area, from the tantalizing goal of a...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco