It’s truly amazing to hear everyone’s unique personal story on why medical research is important to them. Whether it’s a parent whose son or daughter is living with a rare disease, a grandparent who has an incurable degenerative disease or a wife or husband whose spouse is battling cancer, everyone’s life in one way or another has been touched by a serious disease without a cure.
This fact makes the following statistics even more baffling. Over the last ten years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has received stagnant funding, resulting in the NIH losing nearly 25% of its purchasing power to inflation. Budget cuts in 2013 resulted in 750 fewer patients admitted to the NIH Clinical Center, and 640 fewer competitive grants were awarded. These trends are forcing young researchers to rethink their career path in the U.S. After all, the NIH can only accept one-sixth of grant applications due to funding shortfalls, compared to one-third of applications before this downward trend started.
The importance of NIH research cannot be overstated. NIH research benefits the economy, as every dollar in NIH funding results in $2.21 in local economic growth. The NIH supports over 400,000 jobs across the U.S., generating nearly $60 billion in new economic activity. The U.S. has gained one year of life expectancy for every 6 years since 1990, due largely to NIH research. In economic terms, this increased life expectancy can be valued at $95 trillion from 1970 to 2000. Finally, NIH research on cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes prevents approximately 1.35 million deaths annually. read more >
National Organization for Rare Disorders Submits Comments in Response to Congressional 21st Century Cures Initiative “Call to Action”
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has submitted comments to the Congressional 21st Century Cures initiative outlining nine steps to promote the development of treatments and cures for the 30 million Americans with rare diseases. read more >
The announcement by Congressman Henry A. Waxman that he will not seek re-election after this term has reminded all of us at NORD — and throughout the rare disease community — of how very much we honor and respect the numerous contributions of this brilliant and caring public official over his 40 years in office. read more >
Over the past year, Congress has taken several actions (or inactions) that seemingly nobody wanted; indiscriminately slashing budgets as part of the Sequester and shutting down the government for 16 days. read more >
On November 20, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long-awaited proposed rules for health insurance market reforms and essential health benefits. These provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are meant to protect patients with pre-existing conditions from discrimination and provide protections against other insurance company abuses. We’re now in the process of reviewing the hundreds of pages and will provide comments to CMS on or before the due date. read more >
RareDisease Dialog is the official blog for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). NORD’s staff and friends will share information of interest to the entire rare disease community.
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