Imagine if we didn’t know that smoking led to heart disease or stroke. Think about all of the lives lost if we didn’t have AEDs. How many stroke and heart disease survivors would we have if it weren’t for clot-busting drugs? It’s hard not to take these and other medical milestones for granted. But if it weren't for our investment in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these breakthroughs might not be here today.
Unfortunately, future discoveries will be in jeopardy if our lawmakers continue to inadequately fund medical research. Will you contact your lawmaker today and urge them to make NIH heart and stroke research a national priority?
Right now, members of both the U.S. House and Senate are determining their priorities for upcoming appropriation bills. It's crucial that as many lawmakers as possible request a funding increase for the NIH if we hope to discover more lifesaving heart and stroke treatments.
Over the past 10 years, the NIH budget has not kept pace with medical research inflation, resulting in more than a 20% loss in purchasing power. Moreover, NIH continues to invest only 4% of its budget on heart research and a mere 1% on stroke research. This means promising discoveries to save even more lives will be left in the lab room and not in the hands of doctors.
Like me, I am sure you find this unacceptable. But this trend will only change if we stand up and urge our legislators to make NIH a national priority.
Medical breakthroughs do not happen overnight. Each step takes countless hours of research and manpower, trial and error, hope and frustration. But each step is an opportunity to bring a new chance at life to countless Americans across the country. It’s why the work NIH does is so vital, and it’s why the work we do to increase NIH’s funding is so critical. Our nation’s future health depends on it.