Monday, April 8, 2013

Rally for Medical Research

Today, I had the opportunity to participate in the Rally for Medical Research in Washington, D.C. More than 80 national organizations and institutions are participating in this effort to call on our nation's policymakers to make life-saving medical research funding a priority. The goal is raise awareness among members of Congress and the general public about the critical need for a sustained investment in the National Institutes of Health, which is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world.

I've written previously about the importance of funding medical research and how in today's economic climate, that funding is tougher than ever to receive. That still holds true today. Now even more so, because sequestration is slashing the NIH budget by 5.1 percent, or approximately $1.5 billion. This makes it extremely difficult to keep pace with the rate of biomedical inflation.

Funding for research does more than just save lives. It also fuels the economy and creates jobs. NIH funding supports research by 325,000 scientists at more than 3,000 universities and other entities across the United States, including the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thanks to that research, we have made unprecedented advances in science and medicine that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Now is the time for us to move full steam ahead, and not linger behind.

If you would like to see an end to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, I encourage you to contact your congressional representative and tell them to make funding for medical research a national priority. All of our lives depend on it.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.