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  • Medical, science organizations call on Price to support National Institutes of Health

    05/15/2017

    In advance of a May 17th U.S. House of Representatives hearing on funding for the National Institutes of Health, leaders of 27 major medical and scientific societies and research advocacy organizations asked Health and Human Services Director Tom Price to protect the National Institutes of Health and its Fogarty International Center in a letter outlining the Center’s critical contributions to health security and responses at home and abroad. The Infectious Diseases Society of America and HIV Medicine Association have also launched a broadercampaign to call upon Congress to protect all NIH infectious diseases research funding.

    The letter, initiated by leaders of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association, lauds a $2 billion budget increase for the National Institutes of Health for fiscal year 2017, but expresses strong concerns over White House proposed cuts to medical research funding fiscal year 2018, including the elimination of the Fogarty Center. The Fogarty Center supports international medical research collaborations and scientific training to protect and promote domestic and global health and health security. More than 80 percent of the Center’s grant funding supports U.S. academic institutions.  Signers of the letter to Secretary Price include leaders of the Consortium of Universities in Global Health, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, the American Thoracic Society, the American Society of Tropic Medicine and Hygiene, the Alliance for Aging Research, and Research America.

    “Cuts to medical research funding threaten our ability to diagnose, prevent, treat and control diseases. They will discourage new investigators from entering the field at a time when innovation is needed more than ever.” IDSA President Dr. William Powderly said. “Work supported by the National Institutes of Health, to develop new diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies against emerging infectious diseases as well as the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance has never been more vital.”

    “The Fogarty Center has played a critical role in the development of effective domestic and global US-led efforts to prevent and treat HIV and its accompanying health threats, including tuberculosis,” HIVMA Chair Dr. Wendy Armstrong said. “These efforts must be intensified if we are going to make further progress toward controlling the epidemic and toward the development of a vaccine and ultimately, a cure for HIV.”

    IDSA and HIVMA are encouraged by the long bipartisan history of support for NIH, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Fogarty International Center, and we strongly urge Congress to maintain our nation’s robust investment in biomedical research.

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