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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.

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On January 17, the Hudson Institute and the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases held a briefing event to discuss their recently released report, Social and Economic Impact Review on Neglected Tropical Diseases . In addition to negative health outcomes, the report highlights the social and economic costs of these deadly diseases and argues that NTD control and elimination programs are a cost effective public health measure. For example, Michael Kremer, Gates professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University, discussed de-worming as an extremely cost effective development intervention. Several studies around the world, including in the southern United States, have shown that...
On January 16, Uniting to Combat NTDs released ’€œ From Promises to Progress ,’€ the first annual report on the London Declaration on NTDs. The report details the progress made by global partners that signed onto the London Declaration one year ago. Notable successes include leading pharmaceutical companies donating treatments for 100% of drug requests in endemic countries and the development of new NTD control plans in over forty countries. The past year has also seen regulatory approval for two new NTD diagnostics: a new test for lymphatic filariasis and the first rapid test for sleeping sickness developed by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics . Alongside this report, WHO also...
Dear Research Advocate, President Obama delivered a comprehensive plan for stemming gun violence yesterday, identifying, among other components, a renewed role for federally funded research. (Prohibitions enacted by Congress in the mid-1990s and expanded in 2011 have largely prevented federal agencies from funding firearms-related research.) An executive memorandum signed by the president on Wednesday directs CDC to conduct research on the causes of gun violence and ways to prevent it. Restrictions on research that informs federal policy are counterproductive to sound governance. With the benefit of research findings, policy makers can identify the most effective strategies for preventing...
An article in the most recent issue of The Scientist highlighted the importance of affordable diagnostics for global health. Although scientific advances have improved treatment options for many global diseases, a lack of effective, low-cost diagnostics hinders the health of many in the developing world. For example, medicines to treat HIV and tuberculosis have been life-saving for many individuals, but they can cause liver damage and patients on these medications must be monitored. However, the primary test for liver damage requires expensive equipment that is simply not available in low-income countries. To solve this problem, a Massachusetts biotech company, Diagnostics For All ,...
Dear Research Advocate, With all the conversation about the debt ceiling and tax and entitlement reform, it may surprise you to know that an additional topic is on many minds. A wide majority of Americans, 72%, say the new Congress and the president should take action to expand medical research within the first 100 days of the new legislative session. See this and more in America Speaks , Volume 13, a compilation of national poll data providing insights into public sentiment on key research-related issues. See our press release and download the full Poll Data Summary . These polling results are designed to be used in your advocacy and outreach! Among the growing number of issues that need...
This week, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino declared a public health emergency in the city due to a flu outbreak. City officials have confirmed 700 cases of the flu, nearly ten times the confirmed cases last year; four people have died so far. Outbreaks have been reported in other areas of the country, affecting individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. It’€™s hard to imagine the dire health consequences Americans would endure without the flu vaccine, which is due in part to federal investments in research. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have made...
January 9, 2013 The U.S. Supreme Court’s dismissal of Sherley v. Sebelius , a case intended to block federal funding for scientists conducting embryonic stem cell research, is a victory for patients and the research community. This key decision will allow the continuation of federal funding from the National Institutes of Health, providing essential support for scientists to conduct lifesaving research. Embryonic stem cells, which can repair or replace damaged tissue and organs, have advanced research aimed at finding cures and therapies to treat a wide variety of diseases and disorders including vision impairment, spinal cord injuries, and multiple sclerosis. Clinical trials have also...
New Poll Data Summary reveals concerns among Americans about medical progress even in tight fiscal environment Alexandria, Va. - January 9, 2013 - America Speaks , Volume 13, a compilation of public opinion polls commissioned by Research!America, features timely data about Americans’ views on issues related to biomedical and health research. A majority of Americans (72%) say the new Congress and the President should take action to expand medical research within the first 100 days of the 113 th Congress. Public support for increased government spending on medical research holds particular relevance as Congress considers whether to further delay, eliminate or permit “sequestration,” a budget...
The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it would not hear a case that challenged the legality of federally funded human embryonic stem cell research. The case, Sherley v. Sebelius , was brought by two researchers of induced pluripotent stem cells, James Sherley, MD, PhD, and Theresa Deisher, PhD in 2009. They argued that guidelines concerning government funding of hESC, adopted by the Obama administration, were in violation of the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment. The amendment forbids the Department of Health and Human Services ’€” including the National Institutes of Health ’€” from using appropriated funds to either create embryos for research purposes or conduct research in which...
Dear Research Advocate, The two-month reprieve from sequestration agreed to as part of the ’€œdeal’€ to avert the fiscal cliff is a partial victory for all who worked hard to save research, giving us much-needed additional time to make our case. We need be smart in using that time well, because the delay was paid for through a combination of new revenue and spending cuts that could further drain the pool of dollars used to fund research. The fact that many conservative members of Congress expressed outrage that the fiscal cliff deal didn’€™t include larger spending cuts underscores this point. The debt ceiling will need to be raised within the next two months, adding fuel to the fire. And...

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The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient