Blog

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

Dear Research Advocate: Congress has postponed further action on patent reform. Concern over provisions in the legislation poured in from a broad coalition within the life sciences community, including universities, patient advocates, and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. BIO’s Jim Greenwood and PhRMA’s John Castellani penned a compelling op-ed on the topic for The Hill . Now there is more work to be done as policymakers and advocates continue the conversation about reforming our nation’s patent system. Stay tuned. Momentum for a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit is building in the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee, spearheaded by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), voted...
Dear Research Advocate, The “moment” for research that we’ve been experiencing on Capitol Hill is being echoed by Presidential candidates; is this perhaps the start of a wave of conversation on the campaign trail? On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee, which is not the committee of jurisdiction for NIH or FDA, or intellectual property, held a hearing on these very topics. Committee Chairman and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) framed the hearing as an opportunity to explore strategies for speeding cures to patients. The hearing might have devolved into an “FDA regulation is bad” fest, and to be honest there was some of that, but the Senators present, along with the witnesses,...
The July/August 2015 issue of The Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month's issue include: A federal policy update with details on the House passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. An article on the Lupus Foundation of America's awards dinner honoring Research!America's president and CEO, Mary Woolley. A member spotlight featuring the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine. Details on upcoming events in Washington, DC, such as Research!America's National Health Research Forum, Rally for Medical Research Hill Day and the 2015 Golden Goose Awards Ceremony. Download the entire July August 2015 Research Advocate as a PDF.
Bipartisan passage of the 21 st Century Cures Act is a victory for patients and their loved ones – and that ultimately means all of us. Medical advances deliver profoundly important returns; preventing illness, restoring health, and saving lives from one generation to the next. The economic returns are also substantial with the development of new therapies and medical devices to maintain our nation’s competitive edge in science and technology. Increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration will support the important work of these agencies in finding and advancing solutions to diseases that continually try to outsmart us. We are tremendously...
I am sending my letter early this Thursday to give readers who support the NIH and FDA funding in the 21st Century Cures Act -- most of you, based on the emails and calls I’ve been receiving -- a little more time to take action. The House is slated to vote on the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6) tomorrow. As part of the process they will first vote on amendments, including one offered by Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA-07) to eliminate the $8.75 billion in mandatory funding for NIH and $550 million for FDA. I can’t stress the importance of stopping this amendment strongly enough: opportunities like this to fund significantly more research do not present themselves often.This is $8.75 billion for...
Dear Research Advocate, This just in--the final version of the 21st Century Cures Act has been filed with the House Rules Committee in anticipation of a House vote next week. And to understate the news: it’s great!! The bill contains mandatory funding of $8.75 billion for the NIH Innovation Fund and $550 million for FDA. Compared to the version that passed the Energy and Commerce Committee, that’s $1.25 billion less for the Innovation Fund over five years. But considering what Reps. Upton (R-MI-06) and DeGette (D-CO-01) were up against in securing this supplemental funding stream, and thinking about what these dollars could mean for medical progress, the end result is a HUGE victory. Click...
A new web-based community portal, www.MyApnea.org , is mobilizing the largest community of patients and researchers ever created to work together to identify better ways to screen, treat and prevent sleep apnea. MyApnea.org is the public face of the Sleep Apnea Patient Centered Outcomes Network (SAPCON), one of 18 patient-powered research networks to improve comparative effectiveness research by focusing on patient-centered outcomes. This type of research asks: Of available treatment alternatives, which treatments are most effective, and for which patients? The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has established PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research...
Dear Research Advocate: There is a flurry of activity in Washington. Not only has the Supreme Court ruled on King v. Burwell , but the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have wrapped up consideration of their respective “Labor-H” appropriations bills, regular order we haven't seen for six years. The implications of the Supreme Court ruling are far-reaching, but one political effect could be a return to partisan gridlock in Congress. We can't let that get in the way of passage of 21st Century Cures Act. Please contact your representative in the House and ask them to champion 21st Century Cures. Whether or not they are among the 206 (!) bipartisan cosponsors to date, the more noise we...
Dear Research Advocate: Several patient groups, including Autism Speaks and the Lupus Foundation of America, were here in force this week, bringing hundreds of patients from around the nation to Capitol Hill to make their very personal, and powerful, cases for research. Their timing was perfect, as it coincided with the push for 21st Century Cures cosponsors, and subcommittee passage of the House “Labor-H” appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2016, which covers funding for NIH, CDC, and AHRQ. This funding bill is definitely a mixed bag. NIH would receive a $1.1 billion increase; $100 million above the President’s budget. CDC would also receive an increase of $140 million, equal to the...
A global solution and removing barriers to antibiotic development are necessary to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Representatives from various research and health sectors discussed strategies for fighting superbugs at a BIO International Convention super session today. The panel agreed there must be a greater focus on streamlining clinical trials and harmonizing the global regulatory process to support the development of new antibiotics. Jim O'Neill, chairman, Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, recommended the establishment of a global $2 billion AMR Innovation Fund over five years funded by industry to help jump start product development. Venture capitalist risk could stimulate...

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The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient