AHRQ

Dear Research Advocate, “We are in the profession that aims to come up with answers. We have a mission and a noble one. I often like to point out while our initials are NIH….in circumstances like this we’re the National Institutes of Hope. While fear, anxiety, and stress are all around us, hope can be contagious.” —Francis Collins, MD, PhD Earlier today, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), joined us on our alliance member call to provide an overview of NIH’s unprecedented Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) , a partnership between industry and governmental leaders working to speed COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Dr...
Dear Research Advocate, This past Monday, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield was our guest for the first of two alliance member calls this week, stressing the roles we all have to play: “I think this is an all-of-the nation response, not just an all-government response…. There’s no doubt we're going to learn a lot of lessons. But, I am 100 percent confident when we get to the other side, we're going to be so much stronger.” We are grateful to Director Redfield for spending time with us. Read more here . Innovation is key : Dr. Redfield repeatedly called for innovation: “I look forward to the innovation that we’re going to see from many of [Research!America’s] members to improve the tools we...
Dear Research Advocate, Research!America board member and APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin addressed a recent alliance meeting, discussing three epidemics: COVID-19: Emerging infectious disease; Infodemic: Misinformation and disinformation; and Epidemic of Fear: Fear of the unknown, complicated by misstatements and poor risk communication by a range of actors in a rapidly moving communication environment. Dr. Benjamin emphasized the importance of correcting misinformation – not letting bad information go unchecked. He also suggested we talk about “physical” distancing rather than “social” distancing because being social is important to our health and well-being and shouldn’t be...
Dear Research Advocate, Because Research!America’s membership spans the ecosystem of stakeholders in research, we are fortunate to have access to a broad and comprehensive range of information you might find helpful. Visit and share our COVID-19 webpage. www.ResearchAmerica.org/COVID19 . A CDC report just out indicates that younger Americans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at a higher rate than anticipated. As we look ahead to the use of vaccines against this and other threats, we have new (in the field just last evening) survey data showing that almost two-thirds of Americans ages 18-29 may not fully understand the role of vaccines. Better news is that this demographic is increasingly...
Dear Research Advocate, There’s a lot going on right now, so this letter is a bit longer than usual. Stay with me! Let’s start with the Super Bowl. According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s Super Bowl-related spending is on track to be the highest ever: $17.2 billion. That’s enough to fund: NIH-sponsored research on chronic pain for more than 26 years. CDC’s National Center for Injury and Prevention Control for almost 27 years. The entire Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality budget , which plays a profoundly underappreciated role in driving better health and healthcare, for more than 38 years. This is a wealthy country; we don’t need to stop spending on all things Super...
Dear Research Advocate, This week’s headlines about the coronavirus certainly underscore how nimble and prepared our federal research agencies must always be. It’s a compelling reason health research agencies must be well-funded and well-coordinated. The CDC, FDA, and NIH trifecta are on high alert, playing leading roles in global efforts to identify and contain the deadly virus. After Chinese researchers sequenced the virus’ genome, they posted it in GenBank, a database managed by NIH. The CDC has submitted a diagnostic test to the FDA for use in select public health labs around the country. NIH is working with industry on a vaccine they hope to have ready for human trials in a few months...
Dear Research Advocate, As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s launch of Civics Forward , CEO Thomas Donahue challenged the business community to play a leading role in civic education, for no less a reason than assuring the future of our nation. This challenge is reminiscent of his call to the science community last February at the AAAS meeting to do more with the business community, in order to achieve shared aspirations. As he said at the time, “without science there is no innovation, and without innovation, there is no industry,” going on to emphasize the enduring value the business community accords to science. There is no question that heightened attention to civic education and...
Dear Research Advocate, This week was chock-full of federal appropriations activity bearing on the future of research, and ultimately, the future of health. While agency funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is far from resolved, some very positive and not-so-positive steps were taken by Congress. First, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its long-awaited Labor/HHS bill. The exciting headline is that NIH received a vital $3 billion increase, which, if enacted, would bring its total funding to $42.08 billion. The CDC, meanwhile, would receive an increase of only $180 million for a total budget of $7.46 billion. This increase is woefully insufficient to enable CDC’s 24/7 vigilance and...
Dear Research Advocate: During his State of the Union address, when President Trump laid out the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., it brought to mind the critical role research has played in making eradication even plausible. Years and years of research and development in both the public and private sectors have yielded once-unimaginable diagnostics, treatments, prevention, strategies and public health surveillance tools. Relegating this scourge to the history books – in the U.S. and also worldwide – is a worthy goal indeed. The president highlighted our nation’s legacy of making “giant leaps of science and discovery.” As we noted in our statement , we can’t assume progress...
Dear Research Advocate: Big news: it appears a Labor-H/Defense appropriations “conference report” (i.e. final bill) will clear Congress and reach the President’s desk before the September 30 deadline. Earlier this week, we sent a letter urging conferees Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to push for the highest funding levels possible for NIH, CDC, AHRQ and CDMRP given the boundaries set by the House and Senate versions of the legislation. This just in: a summary of the conference report . A preliminary read (emphasis on “preliminary”) indicates that the conferees did indeed opt for favorable funding...

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