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Issue Position: Health

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"Representative Markey is at the forefront of health reform in Congress," -Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation

"As one of the leading proponents for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding increases, Representative Markey has demonstrated steadfast commitment to the biomedical research infrastructure in the United States." -- American Association of Cancer Institutes on presenting their 2007 AACI Public Service Award to Ed Markey

Ed Markey believes that all Americans deserve access to high quality healthcare and is committed to making universal healthcare a reality. As a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over health issues, Ed has worked tirelessly to advance biomedical research, ensure the safety of prescription drugs, help children gain access to medical devices designed for their bodies. He has also provided national leadership working to improve the lives of patients suffering from chronic diseases. Ed also co-founded the Bipartisan, Bicameral Taskforce on Alzheimer's Disease in 1999 and the Bipartisan Cystic Fibrosis Caucus in 2006.

Ed believes that research is medicine's field of dreams through which we can harvest cures for the most devastating diseases affecting our nation's families. As the leading voice in the House for increasing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget, Ed leads a bipartisan coalition that advocates for increased funding for the NIH. Since 2003, the Bush administration has cut the NIH budget and Ed has worked to defend the NIH from the threat posed by this devastating decline in funding. In 2006, Ed was one of only two members of Congress to vote against the NIH reauthorization in the House because of its inadequate funding for lifesaving research. In large part because of Ed's leadership and advocacy, the final NIH bill included higher levels of funding for research.

Ed is also strong supporter of stem cell research. Ed believes we must unleash innovation for our nation's scientists to explore new scientific frontiers by committing significant federal funding to unlock the promise of stem cell research. Ed has consistently voted to lift the Bush administration's prohibitions on stem cell research. He also co-authored a bill to promote Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer which many scientists believe will be critical to developing personalized medicine and treatments from stem cells.

Since 2004, when Ed learned that some drug companies were hiding negative clinical trial results from patients and their doctors, he has advocated requiring all companies to register all of their trials in a national database and make all of their trial results (good and bad) available to the public. In 2007, Ed's bill to create a clinical trials registry became law. In that same FDA reform bill, Ed also authored provisions to encourage the development of medical devices designed specifically for children. While children suffer from many of the same diseases as adults, children's bodies are different, and they require specialized medical devices to meet their unique needs. Ed's bill, which is now law, will help children get access to medical devices that are designed for their bodies so doctors are not forced to just "jury-rig" adult devices for kids.


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