Saturday, May 16, 2015

Show your support for NIH

MDA's Outreach Program sent out a message this week that needs to be passed along and supported by all those living with a neuromuscular disease (ALS, SBMA, SMA, etc.).

As many of you know, NIH is currently conducting a clinical trial for a treatment for Kennedy's Disease. If this phase goes well and the treatment is determined to be safe, NIH will move to the next phase and open the trial up to a larger group of patients.

Read the message from the MDA below and consider supporting the proposed increase to NIH spending.

Increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is critical to finding treatments and cures for the neuromuscular diseases that affect our community. Together, with our generous donors and sponsors, MDA is working to fund groundbreaking research and bring critical support to families. Collaboration-including leveraging federal funding-is vital to speed urgently needed treatments to affected individuals as quickly as possible.

Ensuring increased NIH funding is one of MDA's top policy priorities. Through targeted efforts and strategic initiatives, MDA is urging Congress to boost funding for NIH. Increased support for NIH is critical, as funding levels have failed to keep up with the rising costs of medical research-resulting in a 22% decrease in purchasing power since 2003, when adjusted for inflation. This lack of funding has resulted in a lower grant application success rate and hinders the ability of NIH to conduct and support important biomedical research.

With many voices carrying the message that medical research is imperative to finding treatments and cures, lawmakers have placed increased NIH funding on the Congressional agenda in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

One example is the 21st Century Cures Act draft released May 13, 2015, by the House Energy &
Commerce Committee. This draft would authorize an increase in NIH funding and would create an NIH Innovation Fund that would increase NIH funding by $10 billion over five years. MDA applauds the bipartisan efforts of the Energy & Commerce Committee for making NIH funding a priority and appreciates the efforts of Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI-06), and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO-01), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Joe Pitts (R-PA-16) and Gene Green (D-TX-29) to ensure that increased NIH funding is included in the draft legislation.

In addition to the 21st Century Cures Act, several pieces of stand-alone legislation in the House and Senate support increased NIH funding at various levels. MDA appreciates the efforts of every lawmaker who takes action to increase funding for medical research.

Please click the button below to urge your Congressional leaders to support increased NIH funding. 

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