Blog

Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Each blog post aims to inform readers about the health and economic benefits of research.  

Recent Blog Posts

Around one in five American adults lives with a mental illness, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many of these people also have serious, often preventable, physical illnesses, but often don’t get the care they need for those problems. As a result, people with serious mental illnesses die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than others. These illnesses affect minority communities to a substantially greater degree than they do non-Hispanic white populations. Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, difficulty accessing effective treatments and qualified providers, and a lack of clear evidence to support...
Dear Research Advocate: In United for Medical Research’s terrific Amazing Things Podcast series, chairman of the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee, Tom Cole (R-OK) talks about what investments in research mean for the health, well-being and prosperity of America and Americans. Listen in - Chairman Cole can teach us all a thing or two about high impact advocacy! It is important for stakeholders in research to take time to demonstrate the utility of research and innovation investments, speaking out to current and future Congressional champions on both sides of the aisle. With that aim in mind, Research!America has expanded our bipartisan candidate engagement initiative for the midterm elections,...
Every family whose child receives a diagnosis of a rheumatic disease (like juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), lupus, dermatomyositis, vasculitis or scleroderma) wants the best treatment and outcomes for their kid. And while over the past 20 years, new medicinal discoveries have improved the lives of children with rheumatic diseases, it’s still incredibly difficult to determine which treatment is best for your child based on their disease. Traditional large research studies (e.g., randomized controlled trials) are costly and slow. These studies also encounter challenges, like finding enough patients with the same disorder, when looking for people with rare diseases (like most pediatric...
The July/August 2018 newsletter is now online . Highlights from this month include: Research!America has announced the Herbert Pardes Family Award for National Leadership in Advocacy for Research which recognizes individuals who, throughout their careers have – like Research!America board member Dr. Herbert Pardes - demonstrated distinguished leadership and sustained commitment to public engagement and advocacy for research. Leaders in government, industry, patient advocacy and academia will be among the panelists for Research!America’s 2018 National Health Research Forum on Thursday, September 6 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect (...
Dry eye disease (DED) afflicts an estimated over 30 million people in the United States alone, and nearly half of U.S. adults experience dry eye symptoms regularly. Experts say the pain associated with DED can make it feel as if there is sand in your eyes, or it can be so severe that you may not be able to open your eyes. During a briefing in Washington, D.C. on July 11 hosted by the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) in partnership with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), TFOS founder Dr. David Sullivan noted that there is no treatment for DED but “with research funding, we hope to develop a cure.” Researchers study factors associated with DED such as autoimmune...
Dear Research Advocate: In welcome news, Congress is making progress on FY19 appropriations. The Senate Appropriations Committee has completed work on all 12 bills and Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has said that the full Senate may consider a package containing the Defense and Labor-HHS bills during the week of July 23rd. We can’t count our chickens before they hatch, but this is good news indeed, considering the Senate has not passed the LHHS bill before fiscal year-end since 2007. Yesterday, the full House Appropriations Committee passed their version of the Labor-HHS spending bill, which includes $38.3 billion for NIH, an additional $1.25 billion over the FY18 level, an additional $427M...
Dear Research Advocate: Out this week: new survey data from the Pew Research Center reaffirming that Americans are strongly supportive of federal investments in medical, engineering and basic science research, with overall agreement at the 80% level that these investments ‘pay off.’ Of concern, however, is that voters who identify as strongly conservative are significantly more likely to say that “private investment will ensure that enough scientific progress is made, even without government investment.” All of us in the stakeholder community have more work to do to convey that when the government supports research, all parties -- private sector, government and the public -- stand to...
As America’s aging population increases, so too do concerns about the cognitive health of our nation’s seniors. Promoting and protecting the brain health of all Americans is a cornerstone of the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission. This year we are launching an ambitious research effort to better understand steps seniors can take to improve brain health and reduce their risk of cognitive decline. The Alzheimer's Association U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER) is a two-year clinical trial to evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that simultaneously target many risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults who are at...
Dear Research Advocate: I moderated a session at the always-compelling Aspen Institute’s Spotlight Health conference at the end of last week. We had a robust and “un-sugarcoated” discussion on the dual imperatives of affordability and fast-paced medical progress. Among the many terrific conference sessions were two featuring the newly announced CEO of the Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-Morgan Stanley initiative, Dr. Atul Gawande. (I should add that he mentioned that they will arrive at a better name!) During his interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, Dr. Gawande, whom I am proud to say was our Isadore Rosenfeld Advocacy Awardee this past March, made the point that not being thoughtful...
Dear Research Advocate: Advocacy works! The Senate narrowly voted down (48-50) advancing the president’s rescissions package to the Senate floor, this preserving $800 million that otherwise would have been stripped from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). A special thanks to the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI) and to other terrific advocates who helped make the case against the CMMI cut. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $8.1 billion for FY19 National Science Foundation funding, a 3.9% increase over FY18. While this number is slightly below the House-approved $8.175 billion, given that the overall increase to non-defense discretionary (...

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