Feb 11, 2013

Potential Losses in Funding to Important Medical Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been in the news lately because serious research on gun violence, which would be under the NIH’s purview, has been minimal in the recent past because of the NRA.

The so -called sequester would make it almost impossible to initiate any funding for research on gun violence, regardless of the national outrage after Newtown.  Funding for the NIH will be cut by about $2.5 billion if the sequester is actually enforced.   This represents roughly 8% of the NIH budget, and would be made in addition to any other cuts made in the regular funding process for the coming fiscal year.

Federal investment in medical research has been decreased every year since 2003.  The cut NIH faces in th event of the sequester would revert funding to 2004 levels, and cause a 2,300 reduction in the number of NIH grands and a potential job loss in the United States of 33,000.

The cost to economic activity in our country would be a reduction of $4.5 billion.  This directly affects research on all of the “big” diseases and most certainly on the more obscure diseases which are nonetheless important.

Everyone knows someone with an incurable disease.  Only increases in funding have the chance to find cures.  If you want the NIH to recover its funding levels, inflation adjusted and increased — write to your Congressmen and Women and your Senators.  Tell them to erase the sequester, start from scratch and support the needs of the American people

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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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