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Medical Research

The goal of medical research is to extend the length of life and to improve the quality of life for the population. Medical research includes the basic, applied, and translational research intended to aid and support the body of knowledge in the field of health and medicine. Medical research can be divided into two general categories: the evaluation of new treatments for both safety and efficacy in what are termed clinical trials, and all other research that contributes to the development of new treatments. A wide range of options to prevent and treat disease requires knowledge of a wide range of biological, behavioral, and social factors. Medical research helps us learn how our bodies work, why we get sick, and what we can do to get and stay well.
The federal government plays an essential role in funding medical research in the United States, primarily through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is part of the Department of Health and Human Services and is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. Currently funded at $34.1 billion, the NIH is the world’s leading supporter of medical research; research that has had an immeasurable impact on all of our lives by enhancing public health, lengthening life, reducing the burden of illness and disability and most importantly, saving lives. We must continue the vigorous pursuit of new breakthroughs in science, health and medicine that are supported through the NIH to improve the entire spectrum of patient care, from prevention, early detection, and diagnosis, to treatment and long-term survivorship.  Moreover, NIH funding does more than save lives. It fuels the U.S. economy and creates jobs in our communities.

One of the most important investments our country can make is in medical research, but our ability to do so for the benefit of patients and their loved ones is contingent on a strong, bipartisan commitment from Congress to provide the necessary funding for the NIH.

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