FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2012
|CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
AD HOC GROUP FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH TO CONGRESS AND ADMINISTRATION: WORK TOGETHER TO AVOID DEVASTATING IMPACT OF SEQUESTRATION
(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a member, sent a letter to all Members of Congress, the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMD), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) expressing grave concern about the impact of sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) on medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the subsequent negative consequences this funding cut will have on the health of all Americans by slowing scientific progress against disease and disability. In the letter, Executive Director David Moore urges Congress and the Administration to work together on a solution that avoids sequestration and the devastating impact of across-the-board cuts.
The letters content emphasizes the potential impact of these mandatory budget cuts on NIH-funded research, job creation, and Americas leadership in medical research within the global economy by citing various statistics:
- Testimony by NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. on March 28 before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee stating that sequestration would result in an NIH cut of $2.4 billion, resulting in 2,300 fewer research grants in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and success rates at historically low levels, as well as testimony by Dr. Collins before a June 21 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee where he stated that no area of medical research would be immune from these cuts.
- An April 2012 analysis by the Federation of American Societies (FASEB) which stated that, since 75 percent of the grant budgets are for salaries, the impact on employment and local economies will be immediate and severe.
- A March 2012 report from United for Medical Research which estimates that a 7.8 percent reduction in the NIH budget would result in 33,000 fewer jobs across the United States and a $4.5 billion decrease in economic activity.
- A May 2012 Research!America report which warned that sequestration would negatively impact US competitiveness just as other nations are aggressively boosting their investments in research and development.
The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research is a coalition of more than 300 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry that support enhancing the federal investment in the biomedical, behavioral, and population-based research conducted and supported by the NIH. Visit the Web site at www.aamc.org/research/adhocgp.
The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.