The Oct. 24 News & Observer editorial “A proud day” appropriately highlighted the indirect benefits of biomedical research in North Carolina. The scientific advances and improvements in health that will stem from the research and educational activities supported by these programs cannot be overstated.
It is, however, important to remember that, with inflation-adjusted support already waning, the cut to the National Institutes of Health budget from last year’s sequester has compromised vital research that could provide groundbreaking advances for heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s and a host of other devastating diseases. Laboratories are closing, and disheartened, talented, young investigators are moving to other endeavors. If Congress and the administration do not act, the NIH will lose another $600 million in January when the second round of sequester cuts take effect.
My patients do not want to hear that I lack the information I need to help them through difficult treatment choices or that a specific treatment for their condition is not available. As Congress seeks solutions to challenging budget issues, we should all urge our representatives to make the nation’s investment in the NIH a priority.
Larry B. Goldstein