On Wednesday, April 29, a hearing will be held in the House of Representatives to consider funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This is an opportunity to weigh in on the importance of federal funding for medical research and public health preparedness.
At NORD, our goal is to help develop safe, innovative treatment options to fight rare diseases. We need Congress to provide adequate funding to support medical research that can lead to lifesaving cures.
Join Research America in a day-long social media campaign letting Congress know that Americans care about medical progress and want a stronger public health system.
Related news: Read NORD’s Assistant Director of Public Policy Paul Melmeyer’s blog post, “Medical Research Should Be Everyone’s Priority“
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 >
Now that the election is well behind us, talks have resumed in Washington, DC about the Federal budget. To recap — the only major piece of the larger budget puzzle that was addressed at the end of the year was the expiration of the current Federal income tax schedule, also known as the ‘Bush tax cuts’ as they were championed and signed into law by former President George W. Bush. 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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