Small Boost in NIH Funding Appreciated, But More Support is Needed, Says American Heart Association President Gordon Tomaselli
December 16, 2011
“While compromise on Capitol Hill has been a struggle recently, the American Heart Association is encouraged that Congress was able to set aside partisan differences when it came to funding the National Institutes of Health. We hope the Senate follows the House’s lead and approves the omnibus spending legislation that includes a 2012 increase in NIH funding. Although the increase is smaller than we had hoped for, our health, economy and ability to compete globally in the research arena will still benefit from this support.
NIH-funded research helps combat two of the nation’s costliest killers — heart disease and stroke. Research advances have helped control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and dissolve deadly blood clots to help prevent these diseases. Even more importantly, federally funded NIH research has been directly and dramatically connected to declining death rates for heart disease and stroke.
This critical research also promotes economic development and innovation. In 2010 alone, the NIH helped drive the biomedical research sectors of our economy by supporting nearly half a million jobs. In addition, NIH-funded research often leads to groundbreaking advances that create new technologies, help our nation stay competitive as the world leader in biomedical research and provide future opportunities for talented young investigators.
In the current economic environment, even small steps in the right direction are appreciated and we are glad that Congress did not cut federal support for research this time. The American Heart Association hopes that in the new year, Congress will make NIH-funded research a priority because it is an investment we must make for the nation’s health and prosperity.”