Hello medical community.

I urge each of you to sign the petition to increase the FY2013 NIH budget; the current proposal is to keep the budget flat, which we believe is detrimental to our society and economy. Please consider signing this petition by March 18, 2012 to ensure the Obama Administration reviews and responds to the request.

You can view and sign the petition at: Petition to Increase NIH FY2013 Budget - WhiteHouse.gov

This petition was created by Dr. Stephen Meltzer. Dr. Meltzer is The Harry & Betty Myerberg/Thomas R. Hendrix Professor, Departments of Medicine (GI Division) and Oncology, at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine & Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Thank you for your consideration.

For additional context, here is the email I received from Dr. Meltzer:

I was on a recent conference call with Administration officials, during which research funding was discussed. It seemed to me that these officials did not fully understand the central importance of NIH funding to our national research enterprise, to our local economies, to the retention and careers of our most talented and well-educated people, to the survival of our medical educational system, to our rapidly fading worldwide dominance in biomedical research, to job creation and preservation, to national economic viability, and to our national academic infrastructure. In response to a question from a participant, they staunchly defended the proposed flat $30.7 billion FY 2013 NIH budget as being perfectly adequate, remarking that "The NIH receives more funding than any other research entity; it will continue to be strong; it will do just fine."

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The proposed flat NIH budget will severely exacerbate a catastrophic crisis that has been ongoing since 2003, when growth in NIH funding fell (and has continued to fall every subsequent year) behind the rate of inflation. As a consequence of this deeply flawed public policy, promising careers have been cut short, amazing research projects have been aborted, hundreds of laboratories nationwide have shrunk orbeen shut down, established and accomplished senior researchers have been forced to abandon their programs, young scientists have departed from research or even left the country (even after many years of productive training),thousands of ancillary jobs have been lost, our worldwide medical research dominance has been eroded (ceded to China, India, and other nations), and a large support network of laboratory supply and biotechnology companies has been drastically attenuated.

We successfully rescued the auto industry because we understood the ramifications of letting it fail. Our biomedical research infrastructure is just as far-reaching and vitally important to our nation's economy as is the auto industry. I hope that our Administration understands this.

In response to this apparent lack of appreciation of the current medical research crisis, I started the following petition:

Dear friends,

I write to let you know about a recently created petition on "We the People", a new feature on WhiteHouse.gov, and ask for your support. If this petition gets 25,000 signatures by March 18, 2012, the White House will review it and respond!

We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response.

You can view and sign the petition here: Petition to Increase NIH FY2013 Budget - WhiteHouse.gov

Here's some more information about this petition:
Increase NIH budget to $33 billion dollars next fiscal year! A flat $30.7 billion will kill jobs and hurt research.

Increase NIH spending to $33 billion! The proposed flat NIH budget will close labs nationwide, kill good-paying jobs, damage our worldwide medical research dominance, and hurt state economies. NIH jobs cannotbe outsourced.

NIH funding created 350,000 jobs and contributed $50 billion to the national economy in 2007! Insource our jobs!!

Edited by BallparkFrank (03/08/12 03:32 PM)