Congressional inaction places lifesaving biomedical research on hold
(WASHINGTON) - As the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders, many of ASH's more than 14,000 members heavily rely on government funding, namely from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to conduct cutting-edge research that results in better treatments and cures for millions of patients with blood diseases and cancer around the world. As a consequence of Congress’s inability to pass a federal budget, our members – physician-scientists already reeling from sequestration-related NIH budget cuts – face additional uncertainty, since NIH has announced that it will be unable to process grant applications or offer grantee support during a government shutdown.
Over the last 10 years, NIH-funded research in hematology has transformed a once uniformly fatal form of leukemia into a disease managed by a daily pill, increased cure rates for pediatric leukemia, and led to the development of new blood thinners that can better treat and prevent strokes. However, continued progress is in jeopardy.
We simply cannot afford to place lifesaving biomedical research on hold on account of congressional bickering. As Congress continues efforts to pass a FY 2014 budget, we urge lawmakers to recognize the value of biomedical research and support a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NIH.
Reporters who wish to arrange an interview with Dr. Abkowitz about ASH's position should contact Amanda Szabo at 202-552-4914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The official journal of ASH is Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.
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