Strengthen Biomedical Research at the National Institutes of Health

The LRI National Coalition urges Congress to strengthen the nation's biomedical research enterprise and find a solution to permanently avoid sequestration. We urge Members to support the President's budget request to provide NIH with $31.3 billion in fiscal year 2014. This represents an increase of $1.38 billion or 4.5 percent over FY 2012. This number is derived from the base budget authority ($30.6 billion) plus biomedical inflation (2.8 percent or $860 million) and modest growth.

Tomorrow’s advances in health care depend on today’s investments in research. Sustained, dependable, long-term growth in NIH-funded medical research brings the promise of new knowledge and technologies in pursuit of cures for patients. Investments in NIH maintain and create jobs, and ultimately lead to a healthier nation with savings to the healthcare system. The NIH mission is critical in maintaining our global leadership in biomedical research and development. More than 80 percent of NIH support is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants to more than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every state and around the world.

Patients with lupus rely on the full continuum of biomedical research conducted by NIH, including basic and genomic research, translational studies and clinical trials. These activities will help lead to new treatment options and a better understanding of the mechanisms of this devastating chronic disease that affects millions.

The new National Center to Advance Translational Science (NCATS) and its Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) funding mechanism are essential to advancing clinical progress. This Center is working to address scientific challenges to diagnostic and therapeutic development. It will serve to advance the drive for cures in high need areas.  Last March, the lupus community witnessed its first new drug approved by the FDA for treatment in more than 50 years. It is our hope that with NCATS we will see many more treatment options developed and made available to our patients.

NIH research has an impressive track record of producing tangible improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. The $31.3 billion level will allow NIH to continue to innovate in areas of exceptional promise for patients. The success of the Human Genome Project and other subsequent projects are providing a powerful foundation for a new level of understanding in human biology. A new window is opening into causes of disease. These efforts paired with new initiatives to bring research from “bench to bedside” can only be continued with sustained investments.

Vigorous support of NIH research promises to save lives and reduce the burden of disease, while also providing a powerful effect on our local and national economies.

To continue our national commitment to research and fighting lupus and other diseases, the LRI National Coalition calls on Congress to include $31.3 billion for NIH in the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill for FY2013.

 

For more information, contact Brent Jaquet, CRD Associates, 202 484-1100 or bjaquet@dc-crd.com