Reaction to the State of the Union

February 12th, 2013

President Obama’s State of the Union Address Emphasizes Importance of Boosting Research Funding for Economic and Job Growth

A Statement of United for Medical Research

WASHINGTON – “We are pleased President Obama emphasized the importance of increasing investment in job-creating medical research, primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in his State of the Union address. Moreover, we are heartened by his commitment to eliminating sequestration; a 5.1 percent across-the-board cut to NIH funding would have severe consequences on the U.S. innovation ecosystem, which contributes significantly to the competitive strength of U.S. health industries in the global marketplace.

“While the health benefits of medical research are indeed well-documented by way of new advances and treatments, less highlighted is the fundamental impact of research funding in powering our work force and economic growth. New UMR data show in 2012 alone, more than 400,000 jobs and nearly $60 billion in economic activity were fueled through NIH funding. Should sequestration take effect, more than 20,000 jobs and $3 billion in economic activity could be jettisoned, according to UMR data.

“Our nation’s commitment to NIH has been, and will remain, an important factor in bolstering the nation’s economy and driving U.S. global success. As the president and Congress work toward boosting the economy and driving job growth, we encourage them to make investing in NIH research a top national priority.”