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Dear Research Advocate, As you know, the Republican Party Platform was unveiled Tuesday during the convention in Tampa. There are direct references to medical and health research and other statements that ’€” if not explicit ’€” definitely imply the need for such research. We can draw from both to enhance our advocacy efforts. The following exemplifies the direct and indirect nature of the platform’€™s embrace of medical and health research: ’€œWe support federal investment in health care delivery systems and solutions creating innovative means to provide greater, more cost-effective access to high quality health care. We also support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical...
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...
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,...
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...
Dear Research Advocate, ’€œShell-shocked’€ is a fair way to describe reaction to the latest appropriations bill in which the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee released its funding recommendations. The NIH was flat-funded and seriously micromanaged in unprecedented ways, CDC funding was cut deeply, and funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was terminated . See our press statement on the bill here and the Nature article that included our quote. The Science Insider article also has details. As if this wasn’€™t bad enough, an amendment to the subcommittee bill would have slashed another $8.3 billion ’€“ fortunately...
Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley released a statement, saying that a House appropriations subcommittee bill places the health and well-being of Americans in jeopardy: “How can Congress justify the elimination of a critical health agency and severe cuts to other programs under the House Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee bill? We cannot afford to zero out funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at a time when it is addressing medical errors that kill more than 100,000 people a year and accelerating patient access to the best medical practices. We cannot afford to slash the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget when it...
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...
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...

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Sidebar Quote

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