Help to prevent sequestration of NIH funding in 2013. Here is what you need to know about it.
Public investment in biomedical research catalyzed the initial development of the U.S. life sciences industry and helps sustain its ongoing competitiveness, generating tremendous rates of both public and private return in the process (>30% per year).
While U.S. life sciences companies have already produced scores of breakthrough, life-improving drugs, devices, and biologicals, innovation in the life sciences is only getting started, as new tools, such as genome sequencing, proteomics, and recombinant DNA techniques, create vast new possibilities for future innovations.
At the same time, competing nations are significantly increasing their investments in biomedical research, in many cases investing a larger share of their economies than the United States. China, for example, is expected to devote twice as much as the U.S. to biomedical research over the next 5 years.
NIH funds roughly one third of all the biomedical research performed in the US. The impact of NIH spending can be felt in improved health and in the U.S. economy. NIH funding supports 432,000 jobs across all 50 U.S. states. The $3.8 B investment in the Human Genome Project alone has already stimulated almost $800 B in U.S. economic activity, and the genomic revolution is just getting started. Sustained federal support for research creates a talented workforce and scientific progress that enable the U.S. medical innovation sector to lead the world.
If implemented, the sequestration cuts currently called for in law, and scheduled to take effect Jan 2, 2013, would cut the NIH budget by 8.2%, or about $2.5 billion. This amount is equal to half the National Cancer Institute’s Budget. NIH Director Collins has said that such a cut would result in 2300 fewer funded research grants in 2013 – nearly a 25% reduction from 2012. It is an amount equal to all NIH funding for research on heart disease, diabetes, hepatitis, and spinal cord injury. The cuts would eliminate 33,000 jobs, close labs, and delay promising research.
The possibility of a sequestration cut to NIH is already having a negative impact. Financial analysts have already baked sequestration scenarios into their valuations for firms that make and sell research products and services. These downgrades have eliminated billions in wealth from companies and shareholders in just this one sector, resulting in layoffs and investment delays. Analysts at Morgan Stanley conclude there is a 60% probability of sequestration’s 8% cut occurring. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that economists estimate fourth quarter growth will be 0.6% lower than it otherwise would have been, due to the threat of sequestration.
This massive sequestration of funds will have a crippling effect on the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which enables life-saving medical breakthroughs. NIH funding cuts in 2013 will have consequences that are much more far-reaching than NIH.
There’s still time to prevent sequestration of NIH funding—but we must act now. Please write your members of congress to express your support for medical funding. We've set up a page that makes this an easy process.
Please visit www.lifetechnologies.com/protectNIHfunding