Transition team notes

I got an email from one of my professional organizations today containing links to a number of letters sent to the Obama Transition Team concerning science funding and how research is a vital part of our economy. There were five of them, one each from AAU, FASEB, PhRMA, Research!America and the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research. I especially liked the Ad Hoc letter and it is reproduced in its entirety below (including its members, it is Ad Hoc, after all, so that’s important)

December 16, 2008

Dear President-elect Obama:

Investment in scientific discovery is crucial to improve the nation’s health and economy
in both the near- and long-term. The Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research, the oldest
coalition advocating for medical research, thanks you for your strong support for science
and research and for your commitment to double funding for key science agencies,
including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over the next ten years.

Because you understand the crucial role the life sciences play in the economic and
physical health of the nation, we urge you to:

• Include at least $1.2 billion in NIH funding in any immediate economic-
stimulus effort, and include this funding in the base for subsequent budget
years; and

• Appoint a permanent NIH director who understands the complexity and
breadth of NIH’s mission and who can help deploy scientific research
investments wisely for maximum economic and health benefit.

Looking ahead, we will stand with you to help make your pledge to double the NIH a
reality. Our nearly 300 patient groups, scientific and medical societies, research
institutions, and industry organizations are keenly aware that six years of stagnant
funding that has decreased purchasing power by nearly 15 percent, limiting critical
breakthroughs that can advance the health of our citizens. Funding increases will provide
an immediate infusion into the nation’s proven and highly competitive biomedical
research infrastructure, creating and preserving jobs and high-wage industries while
finding new treatments and even cures for many devastating diseases.

The nation invests less than $100 per person annually for all the research conducted
and supported by NIH. Yet the return on investment has been spectacular: life
expectancy has increased, deaths from heart disease, cancer and stroke are declining, and
new treatments have virtually eliminated transmission of HIV virus from mother to child.

Research contributes to the economic strength of the nation by creating skilled jobs
in communities nationwide, new products, and improved technologies. The nation’s
medical schools, teaching hospitals, universities, and research institutes where much of
this research takes place are among the largest employers in their respective
communities. According to a June 2008 Families USA study of FY2007 federal NIH
investment:

• Every dollar of NIH funding generated more than twice as much in state
economic output: an overall investment of $22.846 billion from NIH generated
a total of $50.537 billion in new state business.

• NIH grants and contracts created and supported more than 350,000 jobs that
generated wages in excess of $18 billion in the 50 states. The average wage
associated with the jobs created was $52,000.

The recent history of the NIH budget has hindered scientific discovery and is limiting the
capacity of a key engine for today’s innovation-based economy. Additional funding in
the stimulus package and rapid selection of an NIH director would be crucial first steps to
returning the NIH to a course for even greater discovery. These investments would give
patients, their families and researchers renewed hope for the future, and can help ensure
the future of America’s medical research enterprise and leadership.

Sincerely,

Academic Pediatric Association
ACT-UP Philadelphia
AIDS Action Baltimore
AIDS Action Council
AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA)
The AIDS Institute
Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
Alliance for Aging Research
Alzheimer’s Association
American Academy of Dermatology Association
American Academy of Neurology Professional Association
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Dental Research
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
The American Association of Anatomists
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
American Association of Immunologists
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)
The American Brain Coalition
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
The American College of Clinical Pharmacology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Radiology
The American Diabetes Association
The American Epilepsy Society
American Gastroenterological Association
American Heart Association
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
The American Kidney Fund
American Liver Foundation
American Lung Association
American Osteopathic Association
American Pediatric Society
The American Physiological Society
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
The American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Society for Cell Biology
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Hematology
The American Society of Human Genetics
American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
American Society of Transplantation
American Sociological Association
American Thoracic Society
American Tinnitus Association
Americans for Medical Progress
Arthritis Foundation
Arizona State University
Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies
Association for Clinical Research Training
Association for Psychological Science
The Association for Research in Otolaryngology
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
Association of Academic Health Centers
Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI)
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Association of American Universities
Association of Independent Research Institutes
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Professors of Medicine
Association of Schools of Public Health
Association of Specialty Professors
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
Autism Speaks
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Biophysical Society
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Brainmapping
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Brown University
Cedars Sinai Medical center
The Center on Aging at NORC
Child Neurology Society (CNS)
The Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Coalition for Health Services Research
Coalition for the Advancement of Health Through Behavioral and Social Sciences
Research
Coalition of Urban Serving Universities
Coalition to Protect Research
College on Problems of Drug Dependence
Columbia University Medical Center
Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)
Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Research Education and Support (CARES) Foundation, Inc.
The Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Cooley’s Anemia Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Digestive Disease National Coalition
Duke University Medical Center
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
Easter Seals
Emory University
The Endocrine Society
Elsevier Inc.
Epilepsy Foundation
Families USA
FasterCures
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)
Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences
Fletcher Allen Health Care
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research (FIAR)
Harvard University
Healthcare Association of New York State
Heart Rhythm Society
Hepatitis B Foundation
Hepatitis Foundation International
Indiana University
The Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR)
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Johns Hopkins Institutions
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Lupus Research Institute
March of Dimes Foundation
Massachusetts General Hospital
Mayo Clinic
Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical Library Association
Michigan State University
National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Association for Biomedical Research
National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH)
National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
National Ataxia Foundation
National Caucus of Basic Biomedical Science Chairs
National Coalition for Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases
National Health Council
National Kidney Foundation
National Marfan Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
National Osteoporosis Foundation
The National Primate Research Centers
National Sleep Foundation
Neurofibromatosis, Inc., Northeast
New York Stem Cell Foundation
The NYU School of Medicine
North American Brain Tumor Coalition (NABTC)
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy
Northwestern University
Oregon Health & Science University
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation
The Paget Foundation
The Parkinson’s Action Network
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Partners HealthCare
Penn State College of Medicine
Population Association of America and Association of Population Centers
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Rett Syndrome Research Trust
Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Sbarro Health Research Organization
Scleroderma Foundation
Scott & White Healthcare
The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior (UCLA)
Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation
Society for Pediatric Research
The Society for Prevention Research
Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine
Society for Neuroscience
Society for Research in Child Development
The Society for Women’s Health Research
Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM)
Society of General Internal Medicine
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists
Society of Hospital Medicine
Stony Brook University
Treatment Action Group
University at Buffalo
University of California Los Angeles
University of Central Florida
University of Kansas Medical Center
The University of Chicago
University of Michigan
University of Michigan Health Systems
University of Minnesota
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The University of Texas System
University of Utah School of Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Washington University in St Louis

So, what do you think? Personally I think we cannot emphasize enough how important research funding is to local economies. This letter most clearly stated the case. Use those data points in your arguments!

5 responses to “Transition team notes

  1. These letters don’t mean jack diddly shit. The only thing that matters is funneling moolah to lobbyists.

  2. There are powerful geopolitical forces suppressing CPP’s optimism, apparently.

  3. Support for science can’t possibly get much worse than the last 8 eight years. Or can it? Maybe Obama will at last do the right thing and start a war with Canada. If we don’t hit them at home, they will hit us at home.

  4. New research has shown that malnutrition in the womb changes the structure and function of the body for life, and later makes people vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes and stroke in later life. To learn more buy the book Nutrition in the Womb at http://www.barker.org.

  5. New research has shown that malnutrition in the womb changes the structure and function of the body for life, and later makes people vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes and stroke in later life. To learn more buy the book Nutrition in the Womb at http://www.barker.org.

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