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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.  

Recent Blog Posts

Research!America’s mission statement mentions that we work to make “research to improve health a higher national priority.” Most often, that’s medical research, in all the varying forms that the term encompasses. Agriculture research may seem to be tangential to research to improve health; but in truth, there are many shared goals: improving access to food for hungry populations here and abroad; prevention of foodborne illnesses, whether accidental or intentional; and eliminating childhood obesity. Four thought-leaders in agricultural research will be discussing these goals and more in a webinar on Wednesday, July 25: Roger Beachy, PhD , former chief scientist at the Department of...
Dear Research Advocate, What do sequencing and sequestration have in common, besides being mysterious words to most people? It’€™s pretty simple: We won’€™t have more of the former if the latter takes place. Why isn’€™t it a Sputnik moment to learn that there is more sequencing capacity at Beijing Genome Institute than we have total capacity in our country? And, to learn that the Chinese government is subsidizing the cost of sequencing so that it is fast becoming the go-to place for industry and academia worldwide? It’€™s time for advocates to talk this up so that policy makers will once again plus-up research as a U.S. priority. Jeffrey Zients, the Acting Director of the White House Office...
The numbers were shocking, but they weren’t meant to be. Amir Attaran, DPhil, LLB, a panelist at Tuesday’s event at the American Enterprise Institute on poor-quality and fake drugs in emerging markets, reframed some statistics that had been discussed earlier. What if, he said, 40% of the arriving flights at Dulles International Airport originated outside the U.S. and were unknown to air traffic controllers until each plane was on final approach? What if 7% of flights were using substandard engines? Such statistics, of course, would be unacceptable to the American public and its government. But Attaran’s larger point was that we never have to worry about such things because there are...
Last week, we noted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report about a spike in dengue cases in Puerto Rico . It’s just more evidence of what we’ve been saying all along: global health R&D matters for Americans, both in terms of health and economics. And, this weekend, a story in the Palm Beach (FL) Post helped fortify that and another argument we make: Cutting research is not a deficit-reduction strategy. According to reporter Stacey Singer , a CDC official warned the Florida Department of Health that Jacksonville was facing the worst tuberculosis outbreak the official had seen in two decades. But policy makers never got the message. They were too busy focusing on a...
Dear Research Advocate, As we celebrate our nation’€™s birthday week, it’€™s worth taking a moment to reflect on the role of American research and innovation in driving American prosperity and making tremendous health advances possible. For policy makers and the public alike, it is simply too easy to become complacent and lose sight of the role research has played in powering new industries, lengthening our lives and reducing disability. Indeed, many people have become complacent about progress, so that we no longer hear about the urgency of HIV/AIDS research, for example; yet we can’€™t shy away now from the work that is left to do. That’€™s one of the take-home messages from viewing...
Research!America’s recent event in Houston made the point that global health concerns are also American concerns, and neglected tropical diseases don’t merely reside in the tropics. They’re in Texas too . More evidence came to light yesterday through a startling report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It found that, in recent weeks, dengue cases in Puerto Rico are trending well above the threshold to be considered an epidemic. In the past two weeks alone, 228 suspected cases were reported, bringing the 2012 total to 2,101. Twenty-one percent, or 446, were confirmed as dengue by lab analysis and – thankfully – only eight have been classified as the more serious dengue...
A graphic from a recent amfAR report shows the potential loss of life because of across-the-board cuts, or sequestration. Research!America’s report on sequestration detailed the devastating impact that the sequester, or across-the-board cuts that are scheduled to take place in 2013, will have on federally funded research to improve health. Now, a recent report by amfAR trains the focus of sequestration on global health. Just as we found, amfAR reaches the same conclusion: Sequestration isn’t worth the cost. The cuts would save $689 million ’€” or 0.63% of the required deficit reduction for FY13. And at what cost? HIV/AIDS treatment for 273,000 fewer people, potentially leading to 62,000...
By any measure, New York is one of the country’s top states for medical research and development: In FY11, the state attracted more than $2 billion across 4,606 awards from the National Institutes of Health. Only California and Massachusetts were better in either category. With robust academic research (not to mention a significant presence of independent research institutes, like Research!America members Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Masonic Medical Research Laboratory ) and NYC-based pharmaceutical giants Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer , bioscience pays off for New York and its residents: According to a new report, the industry directly and indirectly supported 250,000 jobs across...
Dear Research Advocate, Today, the Supreme Court surprised many in upholding most aspects of the Affordable Care Act. As the pundits and the blogosphere stoke continuing debate, candidates will stake out positions and policy makers will consider next steps. And everyone will have a point of view. As you express yours, I urge you to use a communication ’€œbridge’€ to talk about the future of health and health care not only as an outcome of a court or legislative action, but as an outcome of research. Because of research, we live longer lives, death rates from heart disease have declined by 65% over the past 30 years, we don’€™t consider childhood cancer or HIV/AIDS a death sentence, and we...
The following is a statement from Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley on the Senate’s passage of FDA user fee legislation: “Senate approval of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act demonstrates the willingness of lawmakers to prioritize the health and safety of patients. The bipartisanship displayed in crafting and moving the bill through Congress underscores the strong support for bringing lifesaving treatments to patients in a safe, efficient and speedy manner. The additional funding for review of prescription drugs and medical devices, along with key policy changes, will accelerate the approval process and address issues that have for too long disrupted the flow of innovative new...

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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