Society urges Congress to take action to repeal cuts immediately
(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 funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct cutting-edge research that results in cures and better treatments for millions of patients with blood diseases and cancer around the world. As a direct consequence of congressional inaction to avert the sequester, funding for NIH, along with other critical discretionary federal programs, will now be drastically cut.
These draconian cuts to NIH - $1.6 billion in 2013 with subsequent cuts planned - will cripple progress toward cures for some of America’s most deadly diseases and efforts to prevent debilitating and costly chronic conditions. While the impact of these cuts may not be felt today or immediately, the harm caused will be significant.
Cuts to NIH will not only affect millions of patients around the world, but will also deliver a staggering blow to the American biomedical research enterprise as we know it. As a direct result of cuts implemented today several thousand NIH grants are expected to be eliminated, delaying or halting vital scientific discovery and slashing thousands of jobs – NIH anticipates losing 22 – 35,000 jobs. Many projects would be difficult to pursue at reduced levels and would need to be cancelled, putting prior year investments at risk.
Importantly, these cuts will have an exponential effect on the future of research and medicine: an entire generation of scientists may be turned away from careers in research and never return.
This is not the time to defund science; this is the time to invest in medical research. ASH urges Congress to quickly reverse cuts made by sequestration and find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not involve further cuts to biomedical research.
Reporters who wish to arrange an interview with Dr. Abkowitz about ASH's position and action related to protecting biomedical research funding should contact Andrea Slesinski at 202-552-4927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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