Rally for Medical Research: 8 reasons to support NIH funding

By admin
April 3, 2013

What: Rally for Medical Research
When: April 8, 2013, 11 a.m – 12:15 p.m. ET
Where: Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C. and webcast live at www.rallyformedicalresearch.org
On Twitter at #RallyMedRes

What is the Rally for Medical Research and who is participating?

Organized by the American Association for Cancer Research, with the support of more than 80 national organizations and institutions, this event will unite millions of Americans to call on our nation’s policymakers to make life-saving medical research funding a national priority. This unified call to action will raise awareness about the critical need for a sustained investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve health, spur more progress, inspire more hope, and save more lives. Thousands of advocates, survivors, researchers, clinicians, business leaders, and members of the general public will gather in our nation’s capital to speak with one voice at the Rally for Medical Research.

Why support NIH funding for medical research?

1.  Thanks in part to NIH-funded research, Americans are living longer, healthier lives and advances that were once unimaginable, such as sequencing the human genome, have been achieved and have opened a world of unprecedented opportunities for science, medicine and health.

2.  We can do much more with a robust and sustained investment in medical research. Americans are getting older and chronic diseases consume the vast majority of our health care dollars. We can meet these challenges head-on, but in order to do so, medical research must be a strong national priority.

3.  The funding provided to the NIH does more than just save lives – it fuels the U.S. economy and creates jobs in our communities. NIH funding supports research by 325,000 scientists at more than 3000 universities, research institutions, small businesses and other entities across the U.S.

4.  In 2010, federal investment in NIH research had a 150 percent multiplier effect on the economy—leading to the creation of 484,939 jobs and generating $69 billion in new economic activity across the country.

5.  Sequestration, which took effect on March 1, slashed the NIH budget by 5.1 percent or approximately $1.5 billion. Recent cuts will worsen the devastating effect that nearly a decade of stagnant funding has had on the agency. The NIH has lost an estimated $5.5 billion (nearly 20 percent) in purchasing power since FY 2003 because funding has not kept pace with the rate of biomedical inflation, which is around 3 percent per year.

6.  Cuts to the NIH are bad for the health of the American public and are bad for our nation’s our economy. A recent United for Medical Research analysis projects that 20,500 jobs and $3 billion in economic output will be lost as a result of the sequester cuts.

7.  If Congress fails to make NIH funding a national priority, thousands of researchers across the country will be at serious risk of losing research grant funding, and with it the ability to carry out lifesaving research. Success rates already have reached 17 percent—a historic low–which means we could be leaving the next breakthrough or cure on the table.

8.  As a result of decreased investment in NIH, a whole generation of younger scientists will be without the public funding they need at a significant stage in their careers, and these individuals will be lost to other careers or other countries, depleting our talent pool and delaying or forfeiting research opportunities for investigators and patients in the U.S.

The preceding information was provided by the American Association for Cancer Research.

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