The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) joined over 250 organizations and institutions to submit a letter to all Members of Congress February 11, 2013 expressing grave concern about potential budget cuts to medical research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Signed by groups representing patients, scientists, health care providers and industry, the letter argues, “At a time when we should be investing more in medical research, we have continued to shrink our investment to a point where we are sacrificing real opportunities for discovery of new innovations and medical advances. Declining funding also is eroding our position as the world leader in research and discovery.”
A recent statement from the White House presents a similar argument:
“In order to compete for the jobs of the future and to ensure that the next breakthroughs to find cures for critical diseases are developed right here in America, we need to continue to lead the world in research and innovation. Most Americans with chronic diseases don’t have a day to lose, but under a sequester progress towards cures would be delayed and several thousand researchers could lose their jobs. Up to 12,000 scientists and students would also be impacted.”
These budget cuts could directly impact the search for better treatment and a cure for lupus. As documented in the LRI’s Driving Discovery through Innovation report, many of the scientists funded by the LRI go on to secure additional funding from the NIH to take their research to the next step. We will keep our readers posted on the progress of legislation potentially impacting funding for critical medical research in lupus and other diseases.