YOU DID IT!

Dear Research Advocate,

Sometimes advocates achieve a milestone so significant that the only thing to do is… take some well-deserved credit! The Science & Technology Action Committee (STAC), of which Research!America is a co-founder, and many other advocacy groups worked together to press for legislation addressing dangerous vulnerabilities in our nation’s science and technology capacity. This week, both the House and Senate passed The CHIPS and Science Act(H.R. 4346), which is authorizing legislation, with strong bipartisan support. Read the Research!America and STAC statements.

The funding authorized in H.R. 4346 still must be appropriated to translate this bill into action(s). In other words, another round of sustained and intensive advocacy will be needed. Watch this space for advocacy opportunities, but first, take a bow! Advocacy works.

FY23 Appropriations Progress: Senate Democrats released all 12 FY23 funding bills today. Notably, NIH would receive $47 billion, a $2 billion increase over FY22 funding levels. Other key budget levels are included in our  FY23 budget comparison chart. Read our press statement on the bills.

SBIR/STTR: As I noted last week, September 30 is the deadline for reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Both programs contribute to the U.S. economy and societal progress in extraordinary ways. Please use this editable email to make the case for action on strengthened SBIR/STTR with your representatives in Congress.

Playing with Fire: You know and I know how dangerous it is to treat pandemic response, prevention, and preparedness as an option rather than an imperative. Hospitalizations and deaths are rising again, and hospitals throughout the nation are experiencing critical staffing shortages.

In a Bloomberg Law article, Ellie Dehoney, VP of policy and advocacy at Research!America, is quoted on pandemic preparedness: “…disease threats are coming at a faster and more furious rate…If [action isn’t taken soon] we are sitting ducks. This is not a nice thing to do. This is a survival strategy.”

On Monday, we sent a letter to the President urging the administration to work with Congress to advance pandemic preparedness legislation as a matter of urgent national security.

The Senate Democratic FY23 appropriations package includes a $22 billion pandemic preparedness supplemental spending plan that would fill dangerous gaps in the R&D needed to protect against future pandemics.

As it stands, neither the funding nor the policy changes proposed in the PREVENT Pandemics Act are likely to progress through Congress. Advocacy is needed! Use this editable tweet to make the case.

Monkeypox: In a related health threat, our nation is playing catchup against the spread of monkeypox, which is mutating much more rapidly than it has in the past; in the last month, U.S. cases alone have gone from ~100 to more than 4,600.

On Tuesday, Nature published a stark editorial stating that when it comes to monkeypox, “wealthy countries must avoid their COVID-19 mistakes.” The editorial calls out wealthy nations for failing to address monkeypox when it reached endemic status in low- and middle-income countries. The editorial also notes at least one existing strain of monkeypox (thankfully not the one that has become widespread, but I see a flashing red light) has an estimated 10% fatality rate.

Join Us to Learn More About Monkeypox: Join our alliance discussion on Wednesday, August 3, at 11 a.m. ET for a conversation with Dr. Daniel Bausch, President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Senior Director of Emerging Threats & Global Health Security at FIND. Dr. Bausch will provide an update on monkeypox in the U.S. and globally.

ICYMI: This week we were joined by Randy Rutta, CEO of the National Health Council, for our alliance discussion. Randy discussed the importance of the patient voice in the R&D ecosystem, as well as the innovative work of the Patient Focused Medicine Development (PMFD) coalition. PFMD membership is free to all patient advocacy organizations.

If you missed it, I hope you watch the recording. I was reminded of the oft-quoted South African Disability Community motto: “Nothing about us without us.” Everyone benefits when patients are at the table.

Support Innovation: How can you help make a difference in our nation’s ability to respond to issues like the ongoing pandemic and monkeypox? By being part of the leading voice advocating for sound policies and robust funding for health research and innovation.

Join the growing community of donors like you who recognize that a gift to Research!America will help transform our nation’s future. Thank you for your consideration.

Stay well, stay safe, stay cool, and stay connected.
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