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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

Brian Vastag, science reporter at The Washington Post, recently found himself infected with the very disease he had been reporting on for months: West Nile virus. Detailing the raging fevers, interrupted sleep patterns and tingling in his arms and feet, he called himself a ’€œWest Nile zombie.’€ Brian’€™s story highlights the importance of research to develop new prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods for West Nile virus. It took eight weeks and several doctors before an infectious-disease specialist was able to correctly diagnose him with West Nile. Once diagnosed, he still had to endure the fevers, joint aches, headaches and interrupted work and simply wait for the virus to go away...
October 3, 2012 The first Presidential debate was a missed opportunity for the candidates to outline a vision for putting research and innovation to work to improve health and strengthen the economy. Fleeting references to science and research failed to give voters confidence in this regard. We learned some things in this debate, but we are still — many of us literally — dying to know what either candidate will do to assure that research for health will be a priority for this nation. Without medical progress, driven by research and innovation, there will be no chance of controlling health care costs or assuring our nation’s continued leadership in the life sciences. We strongly urge the...
Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate gave us little to go on regarding research for health. Americans are dying to know more ’€“ many, quite literally dying ’€“ about what either presidential candidate would do to speed up medical progress in the face of Alzheimer’€™s disease, Parkinson’€™s disease, ALS and the host of other disabling and deadly health threats that breed suffering, compromise independence and drive spiraling health care costs. Add to that the pivotal role medical innovation plays in our economy, and Americans absolutely deserve to know whether candidates will champion or shortchange it. All of us must say to candidates: Tell us what you will do, share your...
Diane Rehm; John F. Crowley ; Dr. John Mendelsohn; Dr. Mark Rosenberg; and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to Receive 2013 Research!America Advocacy Awards WASHINGTON-October 2, 2012 - Research!America’s 17 th annual Advocacy Awards will convene leaders from government, academia, industry and health advocacy organizations to honor leading medical and health research advocates of our time. The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. The 2013 Advocacy Award winners are Diane Rehm, author and host of WAMU 88.5 and NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show;” John F. Crowley, patient advocate and inspirational...
On September 29 th , World Heart Day , the global health community will raise awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cardiovascular diseases range from heart failure, meaning the heart is not pumping enough blood, to a heart attack, which happens when blood vessels are damaged and blood flow to the heart is blocked. An estimated 17.3 million people died from CVD in 2008 and over 80% of all CVD deaths occur in low and middle income countries. This year, we are also raising awareness of one of CVD’€™s ’€œhidden causes’€ : neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and of the research necessary to combat these killers. A group of parasitic and bacterial infections that disproportionately...
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...

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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