NIH

Dear Research Advocate, This holiday season, Congress has delivered a most welcome package with plenty of trimmings for patients and all of us who care about the future of health. The bipartisan deal-making is complete. A final short-term spending measure, expiring Tuesday, December 22, allows the House and Senate time to review and pass a spending bill and tax package before adjourning for the year. These two major pieces of legislation represent a real win for research; the jumpstart we need to restore the NIH budget to robust annual growth and fuel a new era of medical innovation and global leadership in both public and private sectors. As federal policymakers consider how to vote on...
Dear Research Advocate, The current continuing resolution (CR) expires tomorrow. Congress has yet to reach agreement on FY16 appropriations, so they will buy more time to hammer out a funding package by passing another CR lasting til midnight Wednesday, December 16. The major sticking points at this moment are additional policy riders attached to the funding omnibus, spanning the spectrum from immigration and refugees to labor and environmental issues. As it looks right now, some research-related budgets stand to gain, while others face a less positive fate. There’s more on NIH in my interview with The Atlantic , and we continue to press for increases for CDC, FDA, AHRQ and NSF. Social,...
Over the next three weeks, Congress has an opportunity to reverse decades of declining support for a program that is vital to our nation’s public health. House and Senate appropriators will soon determine how to allocate $25 billion in additional non-defense discretionary spending for fiscal year (FY) 2016 before the continuing resolution expires on December 11. They now have the opportunity to address the damage resulting from years’ long stagnation in federally-funded research and reinvest in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Supporters of Research!America are fully aware of the decline in our federal research enterprise. The lack of...
Dear Research Advocate, "Never Settle" is the empowering guiding theme used by Janssen Pharmaceuticals to underscore the emphasis the company places on innovation to benefit patients. In my visit to their Spring House, PA, site today to participate in a worldwide town hall, I was struck by how their theme epitomizes the advocacy drive and determination of Research!America and all our partners in advocacy for research. I was glad to report to Janssen's teams that more and more members of Congress are championing research and innovation to benefit patients worldwide. Consider the comments of Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) about the FY16 Senate “Labor-H” appropriations draft, which reportedly...
Over the course of his last few weeks before retiring, Speaker Boehner worked with fellow House and Senate leaders and the President to fashion a budget deal that increases the nation’s debt limit and provides an additional $80 billion above sequestration-level spending caps. Both non-defense and defense programs will receive $25 billion more in fiscal year 2016 (FY16) and $15 billion more in FY 2017. The House has passed this budget plan, and the Senate is expected to follow suit by Tuesday. See our statement . Passing this deal is step one. Step two is allocating top-line budget numbers across the 12 appropriations subcommittees (these allocations are known as “302(b)s”). This will likely...
Dear Research Advocate: Advocacy works. More members of Congress are speaking out in support of research, including at a Senate Labor-H Appropriations Subcommittee hearing featuring testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins and several NIH Institute Directors. Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) summed up the limitations created by the sequestration caps succinctly: “We cannot cap innovation, we cannot cap breakthroughs.” Labor-H Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) underscored the point that both the subcommittee and full appropriations committee support biomedical research as a high priority. The subcommittee’s Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke of...
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 (...
Could a 21 st Century Cures bill that modernizes the research ecosystem cross the finish line in Congress in the near future? We’re moving in the right direction, according to most of the panelists featured in POLITICO Pro’s “How Fast to Cures?” discussion on October 7, 2015 at the Newseum in Washington D.C. “For the first time in decades, with the House bill of 21 st Century Cures and with the Senate companion piece that they are working on, we’re seeing a revving up of our full ecosystem of discovery, development and delivery of medical progress that incorporates the patient community in ways that we’ve never seen,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America. Advocates should...
Dear Research Advocate: Pope Francis’ visit to Washington has been a breath of fresh air, but now Congress must get to work and reach a funding agreement that avoids a government shutdown beginning October 1st. Didn’t we learn from the last shutdown, just two years ago? Young patients were turned away from clinical trials at NIH. Disease outbreaks were not monitored because CDC epidemiologists were furloughed. Drugs, devices and other medical products pending FDA approval were delayed. All of this -- and much, much more -- was then and is now, entirely avoidable. Advocates should not be complacent; a government shutdown screams “broken government,” and should not even be on the table...

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The Honorable John E. Porter