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Highlights from This Year in Public Policy

Date: December 9th, 2015

This year marked many important policy issues that were of interest to the Alliance. For this edition of Get Mad before You Get Old, we highlight some of the ongoing issues of interest. Reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) program The Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, passed in 1992, authorized the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin collecting fees from drug sponsors to give it more resources to review new drugs more quickly. Since then it


New Video Demonstrates Why Research Matters

Date: December 6th, 2015

In September the Alliance debuted a new video on the impact of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the Rally for Medical Research in Washington, D.C.   It features real people and their family caregivers whose lives were impacted by NIH research. This included people who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, cancer, stroke, dysautonomia, and hydrocephalus. Some of these diseases may be familiar to you, while others may not. No matter what, conditions like these impact your friends, family, and colleagues every day. Without


Geroscience: The Science of Aging

Date: October 10th, 2013

While the study of the science behind aging is not new, it has only recently become organized and recognized enough to warrant its own name—geroscience. Geroscience is a field that aims to understand the relationship between aging and age-related disease. Geroscientists and their supporters believe that this relationship is the key to finding new ways to prevent, slow, and cure the diseases that disproportionately impact us as we grow older. Scientists now generally agree that aging—and the disease and dysfunction


Buying a House and Federal Funding Agencies: What a Homebuyer's Budget Has in Common with a 302(b) Allocation

Date: July 1st, 2013

When purchasing a home, many couples experience a rollercoaster ride of emotions stemming from the numerous decisions they must make together—decisions that affect each other and their future. From choosing a preferred house style, to coming up with a list of “must have” features, the negotiations can seem endless, and a compromise can be daunting. The most contentious debate among fiscally conscious homebuyers is usually not about the decision to purchase a Tudor or a Colonial; it typically involves establishing an


Taxes or Medical Research? Tensions Rise in the Battle to Reduce the Deficit

Date: February 1st, 2013

The country did not go over the "fiscal cliff" thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), which was passed by Congress on New Year’s Day.  While fears loomed that lawmakers would fail to act in time, ATRA addressed the expiration of numerous tax credits, raised some revenue, and temporarily delayed automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect on December 31, 2012. When ATRA became law America earned a temporary reprieve from imminent economic catastrophe.  However, our health


An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Are We Sacrificing Health for a Balanced Budget?

Date: May 1st, 2012

Last summer, lawmakers were not just feeling the heat of the August sun in Washington when Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011(BCA). Under pressure to raise the country’s debt ceiling, the BCA allowed the president to do so by up to $2.8 trillion, but only by requiring the deficit to be slashed by $2.3 trillion over the next decade. Not a bad trade, right? Think again. The methods used to make these cuts could take a fat slice


Bracing for the Silver Tsunami: Aging Research May Save Lives and Money

Date: May 1st, 2011

Investigators supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) are on the cusp of research breakthroughs that could enhance their abilities to predict and intervene earlier in the processes of many age-related chronic diseases. In particular, rapid progress in recent years in advancing understanding of the aging process has led to considerable knowledge of how scientists might increase human health in later life by opposing the primary risk factor for most disease of aging—aging itself. If realized, these advances would usher


CAN You Help Find a Cure? Funding May Mean the Difference Between Life and Death

Date: May 1st, 2010

After a long fought battle over how best to structure meaningful health reform legislation, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in March. Many media sources are reporting on the negative financial impact some health reform provisions might have on the country, but little attention has been focused on positive aspects of the bill that could make a real difference in the lives of many people suffering from, or who will face, serious and life-threatening


Restoring a Committment to Medical Research

Date: July 1st, 2009

Investigators supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are on the cusp of research breakthroughs that may enhance their ability to predict and intervene earlier in the processes of many age-related chronic diseases. These discoveries will not only positively impact the health of countless people, but they also have the potential to reduce the long-term health costs that are expected to grow as a result of our aging society. Unfortunately, the current state of federal support for the NIH could


Boosting the NIH Budget Will Better Our Lives

Date: May 1st, 2001

It doesn't happen often, but when it comes to boosting funding for medical research, Republicans and Democrats have found a subject on which they all can agree. This rare bipartisan agreement makes it all the more imperative that Congress accelerate its funding of research on diseases that affect older Americans. We need only look to the graying of America's population to see why this funding is so urgently needed. Americans over age 65 use about a third of the $1.2 trillion


Underfunding of Medical Research Threatens Your Future Health

Date: May 1st, 1999

Although medical research is a major avenue to healthy aging, it is seriously under-funded. The Clinton Administration's budget for next year includes only a 1.4 percent increase in the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), America's premier federal agency for medical research. That represents the smallest increase in the NIH budget this decade. Yet this is happening when substantial funding increases are needed most. For consider these facts: Next year, one-eighth of the American population will be over 65. But