Public Policy

One of the Alliance’s most important missions is to advocate for aging research by working with legislators, health experts and other like-minded organizations. Our public policy efforts are summarized here.

Access to Breakthroughs

Related Pages

Clinical Trials

Date: April 28th, 2017

Pay It Forward: Volunteering for a Clinical Trial

Getting medical discoveries from the research lab to patients depends on clinical trials and the people who volunteer to participate in them.   Volunteering in a trial may help society at large by bringing new treatments one step closer to patients, and could help a loved one if you have a genetic disease or condition.  Volunteering may also give you access to a cutting-edge treatment and medical team that carefully monitors your health.  But clinical trials can’t happen without volunteers, and 37% of trials don't enroll enough patients to move forward.  Clinical trials need volunteers like you so watch this short film to find out more about why they are important, how to get involved, and what it means to participate.


Press Room

New Educational Film Pay It Forward: Volunteering for a Clinical Trial Encourages Clinical Trial Enrollment

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: May 3rd, 2017

In honor of Clinical Trials Awareness Week, the Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance) has released a new animated “pocket film,” Pay it Forward: Volunteering for a Clinical Trial, to encourage clinical trial volunteerism. 

First-Ever Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day Puts Condition in National Spotlight

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: February 22nd, 2017

The first-ever National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is being celebrated throughout the country today, as organizations, advocates, and individuals join together to increase recognition about the risks of heart valve disease (HVD) and improve detection and treatment access to ultimately save lives.

Alliance for Aging Research to Honor Martha Stewart and Other Notables at 20th Annual Bi-Partisan Congressional Awards Dinner

Date: September 12th, 2013

The Alliance honored Martha Stewart along with other notables at the 20th Annual Awards Dinner.

Growing Burden of Persistent Pain Calls for More Medical Innovation

Date: February 20th, 2013

Today, the Alliance for Aging Research released a new volume of The Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation on persistent pain.

Use Biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials

Date: January 4th, 2012

Use biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease clinical trials, says expert group.

Alliance Commends Senate Committee for Increase in FDA Funding

Date: July 17th, 2007

The Alliance for Aging Research today commends the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee for including a $186 million increase for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations bill.


Public Comments

Letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price on Maintaining and Enforcing Important Patient Protections and Access to Prescription Drugs

Author: I Am Essential

Date: 2017

The Alliance joined with 200 other organizations to call on Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price in his review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "to maintain the many important protections patients have gained that ensure they can access the care and treatment their providers prescribe."


Public Comments

Comments on Oversight Framework for Molecular Diagnostic Tests, including Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)/Senate Version

Author: Various Organizations

Date: 2017

This letter to Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer that urges them to "make updating the oversight framework for all molecular diagnostic tests, including laboratory developed tests (LDTs), a priority early in the 115th Congress." 

Public Comments

Comments on Oversight Framework for Molecular Diagnostic Tests, including Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)/House Version

Author: Various Organizations

Date: 2017

This letter to House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan and House Minority Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi urges them to "make updating the oversight framework for all molecular diagnostic tests, including laboratory developed tests (LDTs), a priority early in the 115th Congress."


Our Best Shot: Expanding Prevention through Vaccination in Older Adults

Date: 2015

Our Best Shot: Expanding Prevention through Vaccination in Older Adults reviews vaccination levels, trends and targets, incidence rates, relevant health insurance coverage policies, and the cost effectiveness literature and other reports that have evaluated vaccine utilization in the older adult population.

Public Comments

Letter to Senate Finance Committee Regarding Multiple Chronic Condition Legislation

Author: Alliance for Aging Research

Date: 2015

This is a letter from the Alliance to the Senate Finance Committee applauding its "commitment to improving care for people living with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) and appreciate the opportunity to assist the Senate Finance Committee in developing comprehensive MCC legislation."

Public Comments

Letter on Funding for NHSN, Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, and AMD Initiative

Author: Various Organizations

Date: 2015

This letter to Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Barbara Mikulski,  Rep. Harold Rogers, and Rep. Nita Lowey from various organizations, including the Alliance for Aging Research, requests "$32 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and the Prevention Epicenters Program; $264 million for CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative; and ask for your continued support of the Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) Initiative at $30 million in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. " 


The Transformative Promise of Aging Research

Date: 2012

A momentous trend affecting the health of both our citizens and economy will unfold over the next two decades as baby boomers reach their high-risk years for diseases of aging. One of the most worrying aspects of this shift is its effect on the federal budget as the U.S. government is confronted with ballooning healthcare bills. Recent projections suggest that Medicare, which boomers began enrolling in this year, will be insolvent by 2029, though that may happen sooner if optimistic assumptions about its future costs prove wrong. Growing federal deficits largely due to healthcare costs have already put us on “a path of debt growth that is unsustainable,” according to a recent assessment by Harvard healthcare policy researchers. Even if we greatly reduce the growth rate of healthcare spending, which historically has exceeded GDP growth by about 2.5 percentage points, our estimated federal debt-to-GDP ratio will still reach as high as 200% by 2050—nearly quadruple the current ratio of 53%. A debt burden that heavy, wrote the Harvard researchers, could well lead to “financial Armageddon.”


Translating Innovation to Impact: Pre-reads

Date: 2012

On June 28, 2012 the Alliance for Aging Research and its project partner the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA), convened Translating Innovation to Impact, a one-day working meeting to review the state of research into evidence-based interventions to help people with Alzheimer’s remain healthy and independent in the community while reducing the stress on their caregivers.

This document provides the agenda and pre-reads for that important meeting.


Five Reasons You Should Participate in Clinical Trials

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: May 5th, 2017

Clinical trials play a significant role in medical research and without volunteers, there would be no way to discover new cures or medical breakthroughs. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 reasons you should participate in a clinical trial!

New Pocket Film to Encourage Clinical Trial Participation

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: May 4th, 2017

We’re excited to announce that we have a new film that highlights the importance of clinical trials and why people should participate in them!

Alliance Releases Statement on Passage of 21st Century Cures

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: December 7th, 2016

The Senate today approved landmark legislation overhauling the development of medical treatments and cures for patients, which represents the culmination of a multi-year, bipartisan initiative in Congress. Here is a statement from Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin.

Alliance Debuts New Video at Rally for Medical Research

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: September 22nd, 2016

Today, at the Rally for Medical Research in Washington, D.C., Alliance president and CEO Susan Peschin, MHS, introduced a new video that shares the moving stories of patients and their loved ones who have taken on the challenge of living with diseases and conditions such as heart disease, chronic pain, and stroke.

We Bring People and Organizations Together to Advance Science

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: May 13th, 2016

A major way the Alliance advances science is through building coalitions of diverse organizations and individuals to bring visibility and support to health research, with the ultimate goal of improving the healthy length and quality of life for everyone. Learn more. 

Advancing Science for Longer, Healthier Lives

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: April 1st, 2016

Why do we advocate for medical research? Our first entry in the Who We Are blog series offers insights. 

NIH Director Collins Gives Insights on Latest in Medical Research on Charlie Rose Show

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: November 9th, 2015

Francis Collins, Ph.D., M.D., the director of the National Institutes of Health, appeared on the Charlie Rose Show on PBS to discuss the state of medical research in the United States.

HROTW: Alzheimer's: The Race to the Cure

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: November 6th, 2015

Our Health Resource of the Week is a short video that focuses on how researchers are looking for ways to stop Alzheimer's disease.

Two New Clinical Studies Request Volunteers

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: August 3rd, 2015

We are sharing the following information about two new clinical studies.

Alliance Applauds Passage of 21st Century Cures Act in House

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: July 10th, 2015

The Alliance for Aging Research has issued the following statement on the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, or H.R. 6, today in the U.S. House of Representatives.

HROTW: The Value of Aging Research

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: July 9th, 2015

Our Health Resource of the Week is inspired by an important piece of legislation that's currently being considered in the U.S. Congress.

HROTW: Video Intro to Alzheimer's

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 25th, 2015

Since June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, we think this Health Resource of the Week would be appropriate.

Three Things to Know about Alzheimer's Disease

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 24th, 2015

We want to share three facts you should know about Alzheimer's disease; facts that are both sobering and encouraging.

NIA Seeks Volunteers for Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Trials

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: May 5th, 2015

Right now across the U.S. there are more than 150 Alzheimer’s disease and related clinical trials being conducted.

We Are More Alike Than We Realize

Author: Susan Peschin

Date: January 22nd, 2015

Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin gives comments on precision medicine, MHS.

Alliance Submits Suggestions for NIA's Aging Well in the 21st Century

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: December 15th, 2014

The National Institute on Aging recently put out a call for comments and ideas for a draft of its strategic directions document, Aging Well in the 21st Century.

Superbugs and Seniors

Author: Cynthia Bens

Date: September 26th, 2014

Type: Blog

The Alliance for Aging Research was fortunate enough to host an amazing group of leaders from the fields of aging, infectious disease, health care and government to discuss the disproportionate impact of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) on older adults.

Capitol Hill Briefings Lend Insights into Aging Research at the NIA

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 9th, 2014

The Friends of the NIA, a coalition led by the Alliance for Aging Research, hosted two briefings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on the National Institute on Aging and its aging research efforts.

CER for More Patient-Centered Care

Author: Cynthia Bens

Date: May 23rd, 2014

Type: Blog

There is increasing emphasis on shaping a system that makes optimal patient outcomes a priority. The Alliance has been paying close attention to Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI) initial work to provide information on which treatments and technologies deliver the best results. 

Turning a Blind Eye on Patients

Author: Cynthia Bens

Date: May 22nd, 2014

Type: Blog

Alliance Vice President of Public Policy Cynthia Bens discusses AMD and older adults. 

Scientists Boosting Device Reliability by Decreasing Consumption

Author: Guest Contributor

Date: March 14th, 2012

Ask a patient with an implantable medical device what they hope to get out of their device, and they’ll likely say reliability, small size and longevity. Unfortunately, according to a report by the Community Report Development Information Service (CORDIS) of the European Commission, implantable medical devices face a fundamental flaw; the more complex they become, the more power they consume, and the more prone they are to failure. 

Test Your Techno Tolerance

Author: Guest Contributor

Date: August 22nd, 2008

How do you feel about genetic engineering? What’s your position on stem cell research? Is it ok for us to invest technology that could make us immortal? What kind of restrictions should be placed on our use of technology? Are you a neo-luddite? Transhumanist?


America’s Ark for the Silver Tsunami: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Date: August 5th, 2015

What is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality? And why is it vitally important to our national health care system? You'll understand why after reading this article.

Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin Attends the White House Conference on Aging

Date: August 4th, 2015

Alliance President and CEO Sue Peschin was a guest at the White House Conference on Aging. Learn what she experienced.

White Paper Lays Out Case for Increased Vaccination in Older Adults

Date: August 4th, 2015

As we recognize National Immunization Awareness Month in August, the Alliance has released a groundbreaking new paper on the importance of improving vaccination rates in older adults.

Alzheimer's Treatment and Care at a Crossroads: Pursuing All Avenues to Provide Relief

Date: October 1st, 2012

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you’ve most likely wondered if there are any ways to relieve some of the burden of the disease, in addition to the pills to manage its symptoms. For many diseases like heart disease and diabetes, changes to diet and exercise are as high on health care providers list of advice for patients as a prescription for medication, but this isn’t the case with how they approach Alzheimer’s disease.

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 illnesses.

The Savings and the Safety of Drug Importation

Date: June 1st, 2009

The president and Congress are embarking on a fervent campaign to reform our damaged health care system. Few would disagree that there is waste in our current system, and even fewer would disagree with the fact that we need to bring healthcare to the 46 million Americans who are currently uninsured. But, many in Washington and across the country disagree on how to go about financing the massive health care overhaul that lawmakers are now proposing.

Pharmaceutical Companies Offer Free Medications to Those in Need

Date: October 1st, 2008

For the 47 million Americans without health insurance, each day is a struggle to find a way to pay for prescription drugs. Older adults, who are often prescribed several medications at a time, can find it even more difficult to pay medical bills. Despite the start of Medicare Part D in 2006, the elderly still spend thousands of dollars a year on prescription drug costs. What many people don’t know is that they may be eligible to receive their medications for free.

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