New York's Medical Schools urge Congress to preserve NIH funding for scientific research

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The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) today directed a letter to the New York State Congressional Delegation calling on them to reject a nearly 10-percent cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Medicare and Title VII health professions programs, that will take effect January 2, 2013.

"In order to meet the health challenges of an aging and increasingly diverse population, continue to foster the types of innovation that will drive our regional economy, and remain a vibrant force in the global economy, we need to invest more in medical research and the health care workforce, not less," said Dr. Lee Goldman, AMSNY's chair, and executive vice president and dean of the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. "Cuts to vital research and educational programs will delay medical progress and deny hope to millions of Americans."

The AMSNY letter states that "the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates the pending sequestration action will reduce NIH funding in FY 2013 by $2.5 billion. Medical schools and teaching hospitals would lose more than $1 billion nationally. Approximately $167 million in funding would be lost in New York State alone. According to a 2010 Tripp Umbach report commissioned by AMSNY, the state receives an economic return of $7.50 for each research dollar invested in New York's medical schools. Therefore, a $167 million loss in NIH funding would equate to an overall loss of approximately $1.25 billion to New York's economy and result in lost jobs."

"The high quality of medical care we enjoy today is built upon years of effort by physicians, scientists and other medical professionals investigating the causes of, and potential treatments for, disease," said Dr. Goldman. "For millions of patients and their families, medical research means hope. It is the promise for a future that will alleviate pain and illness for those suffering from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, depression, and Parkinson's. To fully realize this hope, we must sustain federal support for the NIH."

As the largest federal funding agency for medical research, NIH invested more than $30 billion in FY 2012. More than 80 percent of the NIH's budget goes to more than 300,000 research personnel at more than 2,500 universities and research institutions across the country. More than half of this funding goes to medical schools and teaching hospitals. These institutions are committed to pioneering tomorrow's cures and medical advances, and bringing them to patients.

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