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Statement from ASH President Charles S Abrams MD on Passage of the Continuing Resolution

The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders, congratulates Congress on the passage of a short-term resolution to fund NIH and other federal programs through December 9. The Society also applauds the inclusion of emergency supplemental funding for public health emergencies such as Zika. However, we are obliged to express concern over the ongoing impact that limited funding extensions have on medical advancements that are dependent upon sustained and predictable support.

Last year, after more than a decade of flat funding and spending reductions, Congress showed a strong bipartisan commitment to support biomedical research by providing a $2 billion increase for NIH in fiscal year (FY) 2016. Yet, if the nation is to continue to accelerate the development of life-changing cures, pioneering treatments, and innovative prevention strategies, it is essential for Congress to maintain this commitment. ASH urges Congress to make it a priority when it reconvenes in November to pass full and final spending legislation that includes $34.1 billion for NIH for FY 2017.

Furthermore, ASH encourages Congress to recognize the amazing progress we can make towards curing cancer by funding the Precision Medicine and National Cancer Moonshot initiatives. ASH has taken a leading role in addressing one of the core goals of the Moonshot effort, which is encouraging researchers to share data. The Society has also established recommendations for this initiative. Without congressional backing, ASH and our collaborative partners in the federal government and academia cannot continue our fight to conquer cancer.

ASH remains committed to working with lawmakers to pass a full FY2017 budget and urges our leaders to pass sensible and vital bipartisan funding legislation. Congress has the power to ensure that lifesaving biomedical research continues, while promoting public health and safety. 

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.

Stephen Fitzmaurice, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4927