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January 16, 2004

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
United State Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator McConnell:

The undersigned organizations, which represent patients and their families, scientists, healthcare providers, and industry, strongly urge you to vote to adopt the conference report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2673) when the Senate re-convenes on January 20.

This nation's investment in medical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has helped save lives, reduce human suffering and strengthen our economic base. But continued medical progress will be jeopardized unless the Senate passes the conference report accompanying H.R. 2673.

Chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer's continue to claim the lives of millions of Americans each year, wasting precious human resources and draining billions of dollars from the nation's economy. Infectious agents such as West Nile Virus, SARS and hepatitis C, along with the ever-present risk of bioterrorism, represent serious threats to our society. Without your support:

  • $1 billion for life-saving research to find ways to cure or prevent disease will be lost;
  • the quest for more effective diagnostic tools and treatments will be slowed; and
  • America's standing in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical marketplace will be diminished.

While this bill falls short of what the nation needs to invest in medical research, given what is at stake, we strongly urge you to vote for passage of the conference report accompanying H.R. 2673. Now is not the time to retreat from this nation's commitment to improving the health and well-being of all Americans.

Sincerely,

Academic Health Centers Clinical Research Forum

Academy of Radiology Research

Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding

Administrators of Internal Medicine

Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

Alliance for Aging Research

Alliant International University

Alpha-1 Association

Alpha-1 Foundation

Alzheimer's Association

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Dermatology Association

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association for Dental Research

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

American Association of Immunologists

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)

American College of Clinical Pharmacology

American College of Clinical Pharmacy

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

The American College of Obstetricians And Gynecologists

American College of Radiology Association

American College of Rheumatology

American College of Surgeons

American Dental Education Association

American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR)

American Foundation for AIDS Research

American Gastroenterological Association

American Heart Association

American Liver Foundation

American Occupational Therapy Association

American Osteopathic Association

American Pediatric Society

American Physiological Society

American Psychiatric Association

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Society

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

American Society for Cell Biology

American Society for Clinical Nutrition

American Society for Clinical Oncology

American Society for Investigative Pathology

American Society for Microbiology

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

American Society for Reproductive Medicine

American Society for Virology

American Society of Hematology

American Society of Nephrology

American Society of Pediatric Nephrology

American Sociological Association

American Thoracic Society

American Tinnitus Association

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

Association of Academic Department of Otolaryngology (AADO)

Association of Academic Health Centers

Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of American Universities

Association of Departments of Family Medicine

Association of General Clinical Research Centers Program Directors

Association of Independent Research Institutes

Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs

Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs

Association of Minority Health Professions Schools

Association of Population Centers

Association of Professors of Medicine

Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine

Association of Subspecialty Professors

Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)

Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Baylor College of Medicine

Boston University School of Medicine

Boys Town National Research Hospital

Campaign for Medical Research

CARES Foundation, Inc.

Carmel Hill Center at Columbia Child Psychiatry

Cedars-Sinai Health System

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation

Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine

Coalition for American Trauma Care

Coalition for Health Services Research

Coalition for the Advancement of Health Through Behavioral and Social Science Research

College on Problems of Drug Dependence

Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals

Consortium of Social Science Associations

Cooley's Anemia Foundation

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Development Disabilities Research Centers Association

Digestive Disease National Coalition

Duke University Medical Center

Duke University School of Medicine

Dystonia Medical Research Foundation

EAS, Inc.

The Endocrine Society

Federation of America Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences

First Candle/Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Alliance

Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types

Fraxa Research Foundation, Inc.

Friends of NICHD

Friends of the National Institute for Dental and Cranial Facial Research

Friends of the National Library of Medicine

The Gerontological Society of America

Hemophilia Federation of America

Hepatitis Foundation International

Immune Deficiency Foundation

Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

The Jeffrey Modell Foundation

Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

The Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

Lymphoma Research Foundation

March of Dimes

Medical Library Association

Morehouse School of Medicine

Mount Sinai Medical Center

NASPE-Heart Rhythm Society

NF Inc - Mass Bay Area

National Alliance for Autism Research

National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR)

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR)

National Association of Social Workers

National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges

The National Center for Learning Disabilities

The National Coalition for Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases

National Council Family Relations

National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias

The National Fragile X Foundation

National Health Council

National Hemophilia Foundation

National Kidney Foundation

National Mental Health Association

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

NephCure Foundation

Neuropathy Association

New York Medical College

New York University School of Medicine

The Ohio State University Medical Center

Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation

The Paget Foundation for Paget's Disease of Bone and Related Disorders

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)

Parkinson's Action Network

Penn State College of Medicine

Population Association of America

The Protein Society

Pulmonary Hypertension Association

PXE International and Genetic Alliance

Research!America

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

The Society for Investigative Dermatology

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Society for Neuroscience

Society for Pediatric Research

Society for Research in Child Development

Society for Women's Health Research

Society of Toxicology

Spina Bifida Association of America

TeenScreen

Teratology Society

Texas NF Foundation

Tourette Syndrome Association

Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Arizona Health Sciences

University of California, San Diego

University of Florida Health Science Center

University of Michigan Health System

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Pennsylvania Health System

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

University of Wisconsin Madison

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Wake Forest University School of Medicine