sequestration

By John Seffrin and Michael Caligiuri An excerpt of an op-ed by John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Research!America Board member, and Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute published in U.S News & World Report . Michael A. Caligiuri, MD John R. Seffrin, PhD Clinical trials are often a patient’€™s only viable treatment option for surviving cancer ’€“ a disease that kills 1,500 people every day in this country. But haphazard federal budget cuts, a consequence of the so-called “sequester” that was initiated in March,...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, I joined Diane Rehm and other guests on her nationally syndicated radio program to discuss how sequestration impacts “ordinary Americans.” I was struck by how deep and distressing the damage is, in so many sectors, including but not limited to our own. Yet somehow the pain is not acute enough to force action. What strikes me is how low our collective expectations have sunk when it comes to reinvigorating U.S. economic growth and prosperity. Our nation can do better; why don’€™t we maintain high expectations and hold our elected officials accountable for setting the policy stage to accomplish them? Policy makers should protect discretionary spending, make...
Dear Research Advocate: According to our new national public opinion poll on clinical trials and related topics, most Americans are willing to share their personal health data to advance research, and 72% would be willing to participate in a clinical trial if recommended by their doctor. This complements what we know from other polling, i.e. that Americans want research to proceed at a pace of scientific opportunity. Yet we continue to lose ground in the gridlocked political environment, which, by its inaction, is dashing the hopes of patients and families anxious for new therapies and cures. What’€™s wrong with this picture? It isn’€™t as though research hasn’€™t yielded both societal and...
Alan I. Leshner, PhD In a recent op-ed published in the Toronto Star Dr. Alan Leshner, Research!America board member, writes that federal deficits in the United States and Canada ’€œpose a significant threat’€ to basic research. He notes that ’€œsome policy-makers seem to value near-term, industry-focused science more highly.’€ But adds that basic science has larger potential payoffs than applied research. ’€œThe most well-known example of life-changing basic research is of course Sir Alexander Fleming ’€™s accidental 1928 discovery of a mould (penicillin) that seemed to repel bacteria. German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen ’€™s 19th century efforts to pass cathode rays through glass now...
Tell Congress to Champion it, not Chop it. With sequestration now in effect, across-the-board cuts have eliminated vital funding from the CDC’€™s budget. And even before sequestration, CDC has weathered several years of arbitrary budget cuts. This underfunding is crippling CDC’€™s ability to protect Americans from deadly pandemics, bioterrorisim, drug-resistant strains of infections, and other major public health threats. A recent Gallup poll indicates that many Americans understand the critical role CDC plays ’€¦ but policy makers aren’€™t getting the message. Help set things straight by sending a message to your representatives about the importance of CDC. And remember to get the word out...
This post is an excerpt of a Bloomberg column by Albert R. Hunt on how sequestration hurts medical research, especially in the fight to better understand’€”and hopefully cure’€” Alzheimer’€™s disease. Albert R. Hunt Many Republic ans, and Democrats, never thought the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration would take effect. After all, they might produce dangerous, if unintended, consequences such as potentially bankrupting the U.S. health-care system, along with millions of families. Typical Washington hyperbole, right? It actually is happening under sequestration, which kicked in three months ago, a product of America’€™s political dysfunction. Because the cuts...
Dear Research Advocate: On Wednesday, the House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee approved the funding bill that includes the Food and Drug Administration. The bill allocates nearly $100 million above the post-sequester levels. Unfortunately, the baseline budgets in the House are so low that this increase is still lower than FY12 FDA funding. We must not fall into the trap of lowering our expectations and applauding an artificial victory. The true mark of success is funding that keeps up with need. We must keep working. As demonstrated particularly by the 18.6% cut targeted for the House LHHS appropriations FY14 budget, the pressure to shrink government by slashing discretionary...
By John D. McConnell and Edward Abraham John D. McConnell, MD Edward Abraham, MD Every day, physicians and scientists at the nation’€™s medical schools and teaching hospitals see the hope that medical research brings to patients treated at their institutions. However, the Appropriations Committee in the U.S. House of Representative has proposed a budget that would result in a devastating cut of nearly 20 percent to NIH funding and the eventual loss of jobs in Winston-Salem and North Carolina. Today, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, along with our colleagues across the country, demand that this ill-considered proposal that...
As the Memorial Day Congressional recess ends, we wrap up our week of social media engagement with a strong message to our representatives: go back to Washington, DC and give us cures, not cuts! Medical and health research has already improved the quality of life for so many Americans. Thanks to cancer research we have better treatments for melanoma and cardiovascular research has yielded drugs and devices that have saved lives across the U.S. So many scientific developments are at risk without sustained federal funding. The need for research in neurological disorders like Alzheimer’€™s and multiple sclerosis is significant. Scientists agree that sequestration is already hampering disease...
We’€™ve heard plenty in the media about sequestration’€™s impact to federal agencies including furloughs and short-lived’€”delays at airports, but how is the biomedical research community dealing with the across-the-board cuts? The word ’€œfurlough’€ is something you would never hear in a research lab; time-sensitive research experiments cannot simply be put on hold. So how will the shortfall in budgets be met? Many researchers and universities are making tough decisions that could delay promising studies and result in layoffs. Below are resources with more details about sequestration’€™s impact to science and the economy. Research!America’€™s sequestration fact sheet . There are many more...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco