Leaders in government, industry, academia, patient advocacy organizations and the media participated in the 2012 National Health Research Forum at the Ronald Reagan Building on March 14. What lies ahead as we face funding challenges for research and innovation? What will be the health and economic impact for this country of funding and policy decisions made this year? The panelists discussed these and other relevant questions in stimulating conversations.
Among the highlights:
- We must elect policy makers who understand that if they do not place a high priority on R&D, not only will they forsake crucial medical and technological progress, they will stack the deck against our nation's continued global economic leadership and future prosperity.
- Every stakeholder in the R&D "ecosystem" — and in the health research ecosystem ranging from government to industry to academia to teaching hospitals to independent research institutes to patient groups — must work together to promote research as a catalyst to our nation's economic strength, and more fundamentally, as the fuel for human progress.
- We must take more seriously the need to improve our educational system and foster STEM education. We are falling behind to the severe detriment of our nation's long-term economic prospects.
- An economy lacking in innovation is an economy on the decline. Funding and policy must align to ensure our nation maintains a robust innovation economy. From U.S. job recovery to continued medical progress to sustained global competitiveness, promoting U.S. research and development must be treated as a concrete national strategy.
The first panel was moderated by Richard Besser, MD, Chief Health and Medical Editor, ABC News. Panelists include Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Nancy Brown, chief executive officer, American Heart Association; Jack Watters, MD, vice president of external medical affairs, Pfizer Inc; Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, commissioner, Food and Drug Administration; John Castellani, president and chief executive officer, PhRMA; and Mary Hendrix, PhD, president and scientific director for the Children's Memorial Research Center at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
The second panel was moderated by David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief, The New York Times. Panelists include Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director, National Institutes of Health; Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Sheri S. McCoy, MSc, vice chairman of the executive committee and member of the office of the chairman, Johnson & Johnson; Hon. Mike Castle, U.S. Representative, 1993 - 2011; Subra Suresh, MS, ScD, director, National Science Foundation; and Larry Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the school of medicine, Washington University School of Medicine.
Research!America extends grateful thanks to our 2012 National Health Research Forum Sponsors: