advocacy

The November 2015 issue of The Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month's issue include: The 2016 Advocacy Award recipients are announced. A federal policy update with details on the budget and appropriations agenda in Congress. Register for a webinar featuring AHRQ director, Dr. Kronick. A member spotlight featuring Shire. How you can be involved in Public Health Thank You Day on November 23. Download the entire November 2015 Research Advocate as a PDF.
Dear Research Advocate: Now that the President has signed off on the budget agreement, Appropriations Committee leadership is negotiating to establish the dollar level for each appropriations subcommittee to work with. Given the December 11 deadline for action, the committees are already working to set allocations for each federal agency and program. Here is a list of the Twitter handles for each House and Senate appropriator, along with suggested tweets. Please take a minute to tweet these leaders on why it is so important to increase funding for NIH, CDC, FDA, AHRQ and NSF; federal agencies that help keep the wheels of science and medical progress turning! It’s a mistake to just assume...
While the annual flu vaccine saves thousands of lives every year , most people don’t give much thought to the work that takes place behind the scenes to determine what’s in that injection. The US has a system for national influenza surveillance which collects data from across the US to identify which influenza viruses are circulating, if the current season’s vaccine is a good match, and which viruses should be included in the next year’s vaccine. Preparations for next season’s flu vaccine start at the beginning of each flu season. In fact, it is the specimens collected at the beginning of each new flu season that help inform vaccine virus selection for the next year. Public health...
Dear Research Advocate, Former VP candidate and Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-01) appears poised to become the next Speaker of the House. This turn of events improves the outlook for a budget deal, potentially including FY16 funding, sequestration relief for one or two years, and a new debt limit. See our letter with United for Medical Research and two major defense industry associations on the negative consequences of sequestration. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made news this week reaffirming his willingness to consider mandatory spending for NIH in his Innovation Initiative. To turn “maybe” into “yes,” advocates must be heard. Earlier this week, a...
National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) represents the patient’s voice nationwide, particularly those struggling with chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illness. As the advocacy affiliate of the Patient Advocate Foundation, which provides free case management and copay relief services to thousands of patients across the country, we translate the experience of patients who have been denied access to affordable, quality health care into national and state policy initiatives. The patients served by the Patient Advocate Foundation often experience major financial barriers to accessing the care they need. Because the majority of these patients are insured, these barriers manifest...
Dear Research Advocate, The Nobel prize winners announced this week showcase the role of both private sector (William Campbell’s work at Merck) and federal funding (Paul Modrich’s and Aziz Sancar's NIH and NSF grants) in driving scientific progress, and more broadly, the profound return science delivers to our nation and the world. Read our statements on the winners . The next few weeks are crucial for science funding and policies. Congressional leadership is working with the President to arrive at a budget deal that lifts the sequester caps, allowing for increases in NIH and other research agencies. If a deal lifting the caps is not made before Speaker Boehner retires, the new speaker (...
A strong majority of Americans (81%) say medicines available today have improved their quality of life and even more (91%) say it is important to develop better medicines for conditions we currently treat, according to a national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America. But many respondents say candidates for President and Congress have done a poor job relating to the health expectations of Americans. Less than a quarter of respondents say candidates running for Congress listen to and understand the health concerns of Americans, and one-third say the same for presidential candidates. A majority of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and non-Hispanic whites all agree that...
This article appeared on October 1, 2015 in The Huffington Post. “What are those things about breast cancer that keep you up at night?” It’s a question I’m asked frequently in my role as president and CEO of the largest breast cancer organization. And to be honest, there are many things. Among them is a misconception I sometimes hear that because breast cancer still kills, we’ve made no progress over the past three decades. And, because we have so more to do in breast cancer, what science, medicine, technology and a large and dedicated breast cancer community have already accomplished means little. But ask any patient who has another year of life thanks to therapies like Tamoxifen,...
Dear Research Advocate, It was down to the wire, but Congress passed and the President signed a continuing resolution (CR) yesterday evening to keep the government operating, at least through December 11, 2015. Speaker Boehner’s sudden resignation last Friday came as a shock. But since he has made it clear there is still a lot he’d like to accomplish before he leaves Congress on October 30, hopes have soared in many quarters! He is reportedly working with Leader Pelosi (D-CA-12), Senate leadership and the White House on a longer term budget deal, one that we hope will jettison sequestration. Now is a good time to thank members of Congress for taking action to prevent a shutdown, and urge...
Dear Research Advocate, It was a privilege to address the terrific crowd at last night’s kick off reception for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rally for Medical Research. Forceful champions including Senators Durbin (D-IL), Moran (R-KS), Murray (D-WA) and Klobuchar (D-MN) joined NIH Director Francis Collins to thank and encourage the more than 300 advocates who are blanketing both Houses of Congress today. Adding in social media attention, the Rally is likely to reach every member of Congress. During remarks at a Rally breakfast this morning, House “Labor-H” Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04) revved up the crowd when he said that “the stars are...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln