Medical Innovation Top Priority for Likely Voters in U.S.

Medical Innovation Top Priority for Likely Voters in U.S.

10.29.12 | By

We are very pleased to feature a guest blog post from Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America, about support for medical innovation and why it is an important issue for the majority of likely voters during this year's election.

Woolley not only heads up Research!America, she is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and serves on its Governing Council, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Life Sciences. These are only a few of the roles she plays to help advance science and medical innovation.

Here is her blog post:

Research!America's Chairman, former Congressman John Porter, has said that this election is the most important of his lifetime. There are a number of reasons for that, but one of them is that medical innovation - with its implications for human progress and US prosperity - is on the line.

Americans care about medical research. Our latest national public opinion poll found that an overwhelming 90% of likely voters say it's important for candidates to address medical research. Nearly two-thirds say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his first 100 days in office. Nearly 70% of likely voters say their quality of life has been improved by medical research over the past decade. So it comes as no surprise that 68% believe the federal government should increase support for scientific research that advances the frontiers of knowledge and supports private sector innovation.

It would be a mistake to take the future of medical innovation for granted. Republicans and Democrats alike must make tough decisions in order to address our nation's budget deficit. It is important to elect policymakers who appreciate the significance of medical innovation to Americans and to work with them to ensure that federal policymaking does not inadvertently hamstring medical discovery. Entitlement reform, tax policy and budgetary decisions each have potential implications for medical progress; advocates for medical research must help clarify these implications so that both sides of the aisle can continue to foster our nation's preeminence in the medical research and development arena. Both President Obama and Governor Romney have each responded to a survey sponsored by Research!America and partner organizations that asked their views on research and innovation, and both stated that they consider medical innovation to be a top priority.

Americans want medical progress. Our universities, academic health centers, and independent research institutes are the most advanced purveyors of basic medical research in the world. Our economy relies on innovation, and the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device sectors -- year after year - take that basic research and innovate in remarkable ways, fueling jobs, economic activity, and exportable goods that foster global competition. These industries are not corollary to a strong 21st century economy, they are essential to it. Advocates from industry, the patient community, academia, and the general public must work together to ensure that federal policymaking is aligned with the goal of ensuring a robust research pipeline.

 

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