Twenty leading US research institutions, patient advocates and biomedical industry release report on the benefits of NIH funding through the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In advance of the one-year anniversary of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act's enactment on February 17, twenty of the nation's leading research institutions, patient advocates and biomedical industry have released a detailed report on how Recovery Act funding of medical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is at work across the country in the service of better health and a healthier economy.
The new report, Investing in Recovery and Discovery by United for Medical Research (UMR), documents how the $10.5 billion infusion in 2009 and 2010 has come at a propitious time for both the US economy and the nation's biomedical research enterprise.
The investment is creating and preserving jobs, laying the foundation for industry growth, and helping to reduce long-term health care costs. The NIH estimates that the funding is saving or preserving 50,000 jobs in research institutions and organizations around the country. But the full value of the investment is far greater. Dr. Steve Fluharty is Vice Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania, which is a member of UMR, and which received $169 million in stimulus funds for biomedical research. He explains, "When it comes to NIH stimulus funding, we are truly talking about recovery and reinvestment. The impact goes beyond the lab and into the companies that supply many of the 325,000 NIH-funded researchers across the country with the tools, technology and resources they need. Further, NIH grantees generate many of the discoveries the nation's most significant employers – the biotech and pharmaceutical industries – build upon to create the next generation of treatments and cures."
At the same time, the investment is also forging new areas of science, many of which could not have been pursued just ten years ago, and others which could have been neglected without ARRA. "We now have the unique opportunity to explore exciting new fields of science that may fundamentally impact our understanding of diseases, and help to tailor treatments with more precision to address the unique needs of very different patients," says Dr. Clyde Yancy, President of the American Heart Association, a UMR member organization. "The ARRA infusion was more than a stimulus; it has been a catalyst that now provides the opportunity to jumpstart the pace of scientific discovery and ultimately to effect major advances in the quality of health for the American population."
Investing in Recovery and Discovery illustrates all of these benefits through real-life stories of research scientists and their Recovery Act-funded work. The report also notes how such scientific and economic advancements could be slowed or neglected if federal funding for NIH were to fall back to pre-Recovery Act levels in 2011 and beyond.
Janet Lambert, Vice President for Government Relations for biotech company Life Technologies, is UMR's Executive Board Chair and led the crafting of the report. As she sums it up, "the stimulus infusion is demonstrating that reinvesting in innovative biomedical ideas through the NIH can help the nation achieve better health and a stronger economy. How much we commit to NIH over time in large measure will determine our success."
Members of United for Medical Research include: The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; The American Diabetes Association; The American Heart Association; The Association of American Universities; The Association of Independent Research Institutes; The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO); Emory University; The Endocrine Society; Genentech; Harvard University; Johns Hopkins University; Life Technologies; National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research; The National Health Council; The University of Pennsylvania; The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); Stanford University; University of Southern California; Washington University in St. Louis.
SOURCE United for Medical Research