U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, offered an amendment in today's markup of the FY 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. Sen. Moran's amendment would have boosted the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the focal point of our nation's medical research, to keep up with the rate of biomedical inflation by making small reductions to other programs in the bill. This amendment would have prioritized medical research without adding a penny to the nation's annual deficit.
"Medical research supported by NIH has changed the lives of millions of Americans and has the potential to impact millions more -- offering them hope for the future," Sen. Moran said. "Now is not the time to waiver on America's commitment to advancing disease cures and treatments. Without consistent, strong support of NIH, our nation is at risk of jeopardizing patient treatment advancements, losing our position as a global medical research leader, and squandering the opportunity to drive economic growth."
Throughout human history, medical research has been responsible for hundreds of ground-breaking discoveries that have improved and saved lives, enabled health care to become more effective and efficient, and lowered overall health care costs. By harnessing decades of research, cancer mortality rates have steadily declined since 1990 and today more than 12 million Americans are cancer survivors. The mortality rate from heart disease has dropped by 60% and the rate for stroke victims has also declined by 70% in recent decades.
Despite significant advances in research over the last few decades, much work still remains. In the United States, heart disease and cancer are still the leading causes of death for both men and women.
Each year, heart disease claims the lives of more loved ones than any other disease, and cancer takes an additional person's life every minute, each day.
It is estimated that one out of every three women and one out of every two men will develop cancer during their lifetime.
Medical research also helps create thousands of jobs and drives economic growth across our country. NIH directly supports 350,000 jobs nationwide, and indirectly drives more than 6 million jobs across our country.
United for Medical Research, a coalition of many of the nation's leading scientific research institutions and industries, estimates that in 2010, NIH investment led to the creation of nearly 490,000 quality jobs and produced more than $68 billion in new economic activity across the country.
The biomedical industry alone has shown faster job growth when compared to other industries, and consistently offers higher wages--exceeding the national average by more than $24,000.