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ASN Opposes Proposed Cuts To Medical Research

February 16, 2011

Proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget for 2011 will limit the nation’s ability to advance patient care and public health.

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) strongly opposes the proposed $1.6 billion reduction to the NIH budget included in the continuing resolution (fiscal year 2011) being debated in the House of Representatives. The nation’s longstanding commitment to better health has established the United States as a world leader in medical research and innovation. This leading position will be endangered should the 5.2 percent decrease in the NIH budget be implemented.

“This funding is crucial to NIH in order to advance scientific research, promote innovation, encourage new generations of investigators to pursue research vital to improving health, and preserve and create jobs,” explains Joseph V. Bonventre, MD, PhD, ASN President (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA). “This is no time to limit medical advances made through NIH funded research.”

ASN strongly values funding for NIH research, which supports:

   1. Improved patient care: Research funded by NIH is critical to improved treatment of disease, including kidney disease, which afflicts 1 in 9 Americans.
   2. Economic recovery: More than 83 percent of NIH funding is spent in communities across the nation, creating jobs at more than 3,000 universities, medical schools, teaching hospitals, and other research institutions nationwide.
   3. Long-term competitiveness: NIH funding forms one of the key foundations for long-term US global competitiveness in industries such as biotechnology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and in academics.

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