weekly letter

Dear Research Advocate: On Tuesday, President Trump officially sent his rescissions package to Congress, impounding $15.4 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending authority and requesting that Congress rescind (cancel) it. While uncertainty still reigns, it appears that both Houses will, in fact, go through the process of formally reviewing the rescissions package. Members of Congress have a 45-day window to act; if they don’t, it’s back to business as usual. Here is a quick primer the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put together on the rescissions process. Among the discretionary and mandatory funding cuts included in the package: $400 million in Ebola funding and $800...
Dear Research Advocate: I’ve devoted part of my last two letters to gun violence research, and this one will address it, as well. It seems to me that we are witnessing in real time just why research is essential to addressing what is actually a long-standing and multi-faceted societal challenge, playing out on the streets every day, as well as in schools, concerts and churches. I’m sure all of us have read and heard assertions about what drives individuals to choose gun violence. What’s too often lacking, though, are research-based findings to back up those assertions. If policy changes are taken based on assumptions rather than evidence, we are simply throwing the dice, not identifying...
Dear Research Advocate: It’s “deja vu all over again” -- the current continuing resolution (CR) is set to expire tomorrow (January 19) at midnight. It may go to the wire, but Congress will likely pass a fourth CR to keep the government running until February 16. Last year, CRs dragged on and on until May 5! These serial deadlines are increasingly used as leverage by both sides of the aisle to push for legislative priorities, and thus it is increasingly difficult to pass a budget in a timely fashion. Still, a CR is far, far better than a government shutdown, which shortchanges the American public in many ways and can trigger serious and long-lasting effects on public health . Here is a good...
Dear Research Advocate, Research advocates played a critically important role in shaping and ultimately assuring passage of the 21st Century Cures (21st CC) legislation this week. It was a long road: advocacy is labor intensive, but it works. Read our full statement released after the Senate vote. Here is information on the bill and on the vote counts in the House and Senate . I hope you’ll use this editable email to thank your Senators and Representatives for voting yes (an overwhelming majority in both chambers of Congress did!). The end of the 114th Congress is nigh; we expect that tomorrow the Senate will pass the House-approved Continuing Resolution (CR) to flat fund most government...
Dear Research Advocate: The election is only 18 days away, still time for candidates for Congress and President to share details about how they plan to speed medical progress. Use this editable message to reach out. Quoting the sentiment of former HHS Secretary and President Emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Louis Sullivan, in his recent op-ed on the landscape of science this election cycle: “Let’s hear some specifics!... We’re all ears.” A few days ago I joined ScienceDebate.org, YouTube, the Young Turks and leading science champions in a provocative discussion about the role of science in this year’s elections. Check out A More Scientific Union , on YouTube ( panel 1 , panel 2...
Dear Research Advocate: Both the Republican and Democratic platforms highlight the importance of achieving medical progress, responding to the fact that Americans place a high value on achieving health and wellness (see my Huffington Post blog last Friday discussing our newest survey results ). A portion of the first day of the Democratic convention this week was devoted to public health topics, including the opioid abuse crisis . Secretary Clinton chose Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate, a policymaker with a solid track record on public health; a strong proponent of prevention. In Sen. Kaine’s speech last evening, he emphasized the importance of research to defeat Alzheimer’s and...
Dear Research Advocate: Not surprisingly since it is the last week before an extended recess, Congress has been quite busy. There have been highs, lows and a lot that’s in between. Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), but without a dedicated funding stream to jump start progress. The House Appropriations Committee passed an FY17 Labor-H appropriations bill with a robust $1.25 billion increase for NIH and a pledge from Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) to make this number even higher. However, there was bitter partisan disagreement on restricting CDC gun violence prevention research and how to address the Zika crisis, leading to passage along party lines of a bill that...
Dear Research Advocate: A report out this week by United Health Foundation concluded that an astonishing 72% of Americans have at least one of the five most impactful “unhealthy behaviors” (smoking, physical inactivity, insufficient sleep, excessive drinking or obesity). A White House report out this week quantifies the massive public health threat brought on by climate change and outlines the emerging issues, supporting evidence and the research required to curb these predicted effects. The need for improved public health is more evident then ever, and public health research is the best way to develop evidence-based, outcome-oriented interventions. Good thing it’s National Public Health...
Dear Research Advocate: We celebrated steadfast advocates for research to improve health at last week’s Advocacy Awards Dinner; pictures are now available. Champions like Whitehead awardees Chairmen Blunt and Cole keep us energized in the fight for medical research, even in the face of its virtual absence on the presidential campaign trail. Indeed, Research!America Chairman, Hon. John Porter, urged everyone present to take it upon themselves, as advocates, to make it clear how vital this election is to the future of science, research, and health. Since this is the mission of Campaign for Cures and related Research!America election-year activities, we can help you in your advocacy! Our...
Dear Research Advocate: Our Annual Members Meeting and Advocacy Awards Dinner are coming up on March 16. There is still time to register for both the meeting , where we will hear remarks from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D., and ALS patient-advocate Lorri Carey, and the dinner , where we will be presenting awards to a distinguished group of research and innovation champions and world class advocates. Join us for an inspiring day! Yesterday, the Senate HELP committee passed a second set of seven bipartisan “Innovations” bills, which focus on a range of topics including combination products, patient input on all aspects of clinical trials and health IT. See...

Pages

Sidebar Quote

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