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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. Member organizations and others share their perspectives on a wide variety of topics relating to public and private sector research and innovation, and public health. The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of Research!America.

Recent Blog Posts

Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate will be held Wednesday, October 3 at the University of Denver. This debate will likely be the only one in which health issues are discussed: Will the candidates talk about research and innovation in that context? This is our chance to speak up, whether they do (bravo!) or don’€™t (why not??). While watching, include the Twitter handle for the debates (@NewsHour) in your tweets, and afterwards, send a letter to the editor of your local paper. This is the final phase of our Your Candidates - Your Health voter education initiative. We know from experience over the years that all of us ’€“ stakeholders and advocates for research ’€“ become...
On September 21 st , Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) announced that the Senate Malaria Working Group was turning into an official Senate congressional caucus focused on combating 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in addition to malaria. With NTDs affecting over 1.4 billion people worldwide and documented cases of NTDs here in the U.S., this commitment to finding new solutions is good news. Past U.S. government involvement in the fight against NTDs has yielded promising results. The National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense have funded crucial basic research for NTDs. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have implemented strong...
National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD , and a Research!America Board member, former Congressman Mike Castle , will appear on BioCenturyTV during the next two weeks to discuss declines in federally funded research. “BioCentury This Week” airs at 8:30 a.m. Sundays on WUSA-9 in the Washington, DC, area. In other areas, the program is available on the show’s website at www.biocenturytv.com . The September 23 show will feature Collins, who will discuss sequestration, NIH grant rates, ways to reduce the costs of clinical trials and the NIH’s public-private partnerships. The September 30 show will feature Castle; Daniel Ford, MD, MPH , vice dean for clinical investigation...
Dear Research Advocate, To call attention to the unintended consequences of the sequester, we held a press briefing today in partnership with United for Medical Research. Two Members of Congress who are still in town, Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA), spoke about the high priority the nation must place on NIH and about the usefulness of data from a new national public opinion poll showing that 51% of Americans say that across-the-board cuts are not the right way to reduce the deficit. To see more poll results for use in your advocacy, click here . Other speakers this morning spoke about what’€™s at stake for everyone who cares about the research enterprise: patient hopes for...
So it’s not a big deal if patients skip a pill or two? On the contrary. Several studies have looked at the issue and the range of their findings is exceptionally broad. One thing that cannot be disputed: The cost is extraordinary. On the low end of the range, the lack of adherence to medications costs the U.S. health care system $100 billion annually in direct costs. The high end: $289 billion. The reasons are obvious: In the absence of therapies, diseases and conditions aren’t slowed or defeated. So the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality took a look at a number of academic studies to determine if anything could be gleaned from an overview of interventions. Indeed, there are ’€” but...
For the second week in a row, an article on the West Nile outbreak has made The Washington Post’€™s top stories. On September 12, the Post responded to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports indicating that 2012 may be the deadliest year yet for West Nile in the United States. The article suggests that each year may only get worse as human travel increasingly brings us into contact with infected animals, and the viruses continue to evolve. There is currently no vaccine and no effective drugs to treat West Nile. With this growing threat, federal support for neglected tropical disease research has never been more urgent. This research is necessary in order to protect the health...
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), left, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) both spoke at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network rally on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Behind them is Christopher Hansen, president of ACS-CAN. The American Cancer Society and its advocacy arm, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, kicked off its lobby day on Capitol Hill with a rally that urged Congress to preserve funding for research, prevention and treatment of cancer. But the event wasn’t just about cancer: Four Division I men’s basketball coaches also helped kick off the rally. But it wasn’t merely a token appearance. The coaches ’€” Tad Boyle of the University of Colorado, Paul Hewitt of George...
Dear Research Advocate, Congress is back in Washington but still in campaign mode, making its decisions with the election very much in mind. A 6-month continuing resolution (C.R.) is expected to pass momentarily. The C.R. would put off appropriations decision-making until the new Congress has gotten under way, flat-funding the government through March of next year at fiscal 2012 levels. The atmosphere of fiscal uncertainty for the agencies that fund research, and everyone seeking that funding, is in fact demoralizing in the extreme. Compounding the problem is that the C.R. does nothing to address the looming problem of sequestration, which is scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013. The...
On Friday, September 7, at the National Institutes of Health campus, the Trans-NIH Global Health Working Group hosted a lecture titled, ’€œRapid, automated diagnostics for tuberculosis: a potential new benchmark.’€ Mark Perkins, MD, who has worked at the Global Tuberculosis Programme of the World Health Organization and is currently the chief scientific officer at the Foundation for New Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), discussed the development of a new testing method for tuberculosis. Identified as the cause of death for 1.4 million individuals in 2010, including people in the United States , TB is a significant global health concern. However, it is consistently underdiagnosed due to...
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation has announced the winners of its 2012 Awards : Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award: Michael Sheetz, PhD (Columbia University); James Spudich, PhD (Stanford University); and Ronald Vale, PhD (University of California San Francisco) Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award: Sir Roy Calne (University of Cambridge, emeritus); Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD (University of Pittsburgh) Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award: Donald D. Brown, DSc (Carnegie Institute); Tom Maniatis, PhD (Columbia University) The winners were announced Monday. The seven men will be honored at a ceremony September 21 in New York. “The Lasker Awards celebrate biomedical...

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