ASN Launches Grassroots Campaign to Protect Medical Research Funding

Despite shrinking funding for kidney research and a record low grant application success rate at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more cuts are set to take effect in 2014 unless Congress takes action to prevent them.

As part of ASN’s response to this continued threat to research, the society asks members to meet with congressional offices in their home districts in November and December to highlight the value and importance of continued investments in medical research. This district-level advocacy is a crucial corollary to the society’s advocacy work.

ASN recently surveyed its U.S. members to collect feedback on the impact of budget cuts on their research laboratories, institutions, and patients. Nearly 70 members responded. This feedback has been invaluable in helping ASN build the case in Congress that cuts have, and will continue to have, a negative effect on the United States’ position as the global leader in research.

Through congressional briefings, office visits, and community sign-on letters to Congress, ASN is aiming to ensure Congress hears the message about cuts to research funding. ASN also supports six coalitions committed to protecting federal investments in medical research, including NDD United, which represents 3200 organizations advocating for a balanced approach to deficit reduction. For more information, visit http://www.nddunited.org/.

ASN members can access all the directions and tools necessary to meet with local congressional offices, including talking points and fact sheets, at http://www.asn-online.org/policy/. It is important for members of Congress to hear from those on the ground, their own constituents who have been affected or will be affected by budget cuts.

“It doesn’t make sense to cut investments like medical research that grow the economy,” ASN Research Advocacy Committee Chair John R. Sedor, MD, said. “Discretionary programs have already sustained significant cuts and there is no more fat to trim. Even eliminating all federal discretionary funding won’t eliminate the deficit. Congress needs to find a balanced approach to debt reduction, and your elected representatives need to hear that from you this November and December. Please help yourself by helping ASN. Visit http://www.asn-online.org/policy/ today to take action.”