On March 26, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH
before the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriation Subcommittee on the future of biomedical research.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), senior Democrat on the subcommittee, stated in her opening remarks that “the work supported by the NIH saved my life, and it has saved the lives of countless others … I hope this subcommittee will look not just at the budgetary costs of NIH programs, but also at the huge costs to our health, our society, our economy and even to knowledge itself if we fail to invest in health research and disease prevention. … The simple fact is: the scientific and medical breakthroughs supported by NIH have allowed millions of Americans, myself included, to live happier and healthier lives.”
Dr. Collins provided the subcommittee members with a brief overview of NIH’s past successes and continuing commitment to basic, translational and clinical research. He told the subcommittee members, “Cancer death rates have been dropping about 1% annually for the past 15 years—life expectancy gains that save the nation billions of dollars. HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention now enable us to envision the first AIDS-free generation since this virus emerged more than 30 years ago.”
“NIH has been advancing our understanding of health and disease for more than a century; scientific and technological breakthroughs generated by NIH-supported research are behind much of the gains our country has enjoyed in health and longevity,” said Collins.