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Statement

SWHR Calls on Congress to Make Significant Improvements to President’s 2018 Budget Proposal

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On May 23, 2017, President Donald J. Trump released his budget request to Congress for fiscal year (FY) 2018, calling for sizable cuts to discretionary public health research, treatment, and prevention programs supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is deeply concerned and discouraged to see that the Administration has deprioritized research and development in the 2018 budget through substantial decreases for critical federal agencies,” said Dr. Amy M. Miller, SWHR president and CEO.

Budget cuts include slashing funding for NIH by 18 percent and eliminating its global health research arm, the Fogarty International Center.

SWHR is also concerned about the budget’s impact on the FDA. “Reducing the agency’s public funding by nearly a third after negotiated agreements between FDA, industry, and the patient advocacy community have been reached is misguided and shortsighted,” said Dr. Miller.

Without the proper support and funding of medical and scientific research and product regulation, the advances needed to improve the health of women cannot be realized. SWHR urges Members of Congress to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal that continues to recognize the importance of maintaining our nation’s leadership by keeping biomedical research and innovation a priority.

“Ensuring the sustainability of programs that foster the availability of safe and effective treatments is essential to women living longer, healthier, and more productive lives,” said Dr. Miller. “We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to realize this goal.”

For more information on SWHR’s advocacy work, visit http://swhr.org. To speak with a spokesperson, please contact Heena Patel at heena@swhr.org.

About SWHR
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is a national non-profit based in Washington, DC. A thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR is dedicated to advancing women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.

SWHR Supports Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s Confirmation to Lead FDA

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Distinguished physician and health policy expert, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, has been confirmed by the Senate as the next Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner. President Donald Trump nominated him in March 2017.

Dr. Gottlieb previously served as FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs under the George W. Bush Administration and as a senior policy advisor to the Administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He is currently a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, and a member of the Federal Health IT Policy Committee at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) congratulates Dr. Gottlieb on his confirmation. Having supported his nomination, SWHR is pleased that he has been presented with this new role.

“Dr. Gottlieb is a thoughtful leader who has significant experience in understanding the realities and nuances of federal policy,” said Dr. Amy M. Miller, SWHR President and CEO. “We look forward to working with him and the Agency, as they enhance drug approval standards that will ensure medical products are safe and effective for all Americans.”

Administrations May Change, But the Scientific Mission Should Not

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By Rebecca Nebel, PhD, SWHR Scientific Programs Assistant Director and Natalia Gurevich, SWHR Communications Assistant

The scientific community will gather this Earth Day, April 22, to take a public stand “to defend the vital role science plays in health, safety, economies, and governments,” at a March for Science event taking place in more than 500 cities across the world.

As this march approaches, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) recalls the scientific principle the organization is grounded upon: diversity in science. Everyone—regardless of gender, color, sexual orientation, or creed—deserves a voice in science and representation in research. For nearly 30 years, SWHR has tirelessly advocated for greater inclusion of women and minorities in medical research, more representation of women in STEM, increased funding for women’s health and sex differences research, and raised awareness of these needs to the public, researchers, and policymakers alike.

“We remain hopeful that the new administration and Congress will remove impediments that obstruct the scientific process, to allow for fully-funded, transparent scientific advancements that will undoubtedly improve the lives of everyone,” said Amy M. Miller, PhD, SWHR president and CEO.

However, SWHR is concerned about the potential impact of cutting federal spending for scientific research and the jobs they provide. Federal funds currently account for less than 30 percent of total U.S. research and development funding. Yet, the government provides the majority of funding for basic research, as well as research conducted at universities and colleges throughout our nation [1]. Proper support of scientific research is necessary for improving the health and well-being of Americans. For example, drug development, even from the private sector, is often based on publicly funded research [2]. Without enough support, the American people will be denied new life-saving treatments. Moreover, publicly supported scientific research also helps to boost the economy. On average, every U.S. dollar spent by the National Institutes of Health generates more than double that in additional economic output within one year [3].

SWHR supports the free exchange of ideas from a diverse audience to continue the collaborative thinking that has helped establish the U.S. as a leader in scientific progress. Instituting travel ban restrictions impacts the capabilities of the scientific community. A diverse group of researchers and scientists can increase productivity and lead to better decision-making and problem-solving, all of which are key to scientific progress. Each person brings their own experiences and ways of thinking, which in turn can create new perspectives, innovation, and cutting-edge breakthroughs in medical and scientific research.

When boundaries are placed on funding and diversity, it limits the potentials of science. As the leading science-based advocate for advancing women’s health interests, SWHR has seen firsthand the crucial role science has played in improving the health of all women. It is critical that the vital role of science in our society not be diminished, not just for women, but for all Americans.

About SWHR
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington, DC. A thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR is dedicated to advancing women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.

References:

  1. National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2014. Arlington VA: National Science Foundation, 2014. (NSB 14-01).
  2. Kesselheim, AS, et al. The roles of academia, rare diseases, and repurposing in the development of the most transformative drugs. Health Affairs, 2015. 34(2): 286-293.
  3. Macilwain, C. Science economics: What science is really worth. Nature, 2010. 465(7299): 682-684.
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SWHR Calls on the New Administration to Safeguard Women’s Health

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The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) offers support to both the President Trump administration and Congress and will actively build on the progress made in advancing women’s health in the U.S. and worldwide.

Approximately 157 million women live in this country; accounting for 50.8 percent of the U.S. population. For more than 25 years, our organization has brought attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately impact women, and we are dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. With a new administration in the White House, it is crucial now more than ever to remember why women’s health is important and why it must remain a high priority on the national agenda.

For a century or more, the U.S. has paved the way in scientific research and medicine. Our leadership must continue. As an organization, SWHR looks forward to working with the incoming administration and Congress on championing continued research and funding of the study of sex and ethnic differences in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease; expanding access to healthcare coverage for preventive care services, including well-woman visits; ensuring proper mental health services and screenings by healthcare providers; and other important health policy issues that disproportionally affect women. Accelerating our progress in understanding the science of sex differences will benefit the health and longevity of both women and men.

Our tireless advocacy efforts for over a quarter-of-a-century have resulted in the passage of notable legislation, including the Women’s Health Office Act that mandated the offices on women’s health within the Department of Health and Human Services, and the authorization for offices and positions of women’s health among five federal agencies, including the Office on Women’s Health, the Office of the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. We anticipate the new administration will continue to appropriately staff and fund the offices on women’s health.

SWHR is hopeful the Trump administration will make the promotion of women’s health a prominent component in its national agenda, and that Congress will appropriately fund a federal research agenda that is inclusive of women’s health and sex differences research, which will ultimately improve the lives of all Americans.

ABOUT SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women.

For more information, visit www.SWHR.org. Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWHR.

 

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SWHR Thanks House Appropriators for NIH Support

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) serves as the America’s premier biomedical research agency and many of the health-related advances in recent decades are direct results from bipartisan investments in the agency. The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) thanks the House Appropriators for their continued support of the Agency. SWHR believes that Congress has a duty to appropriately fund a federal research agenda that is inclusive of women’s health and sex differences research, which will allow us to achieve the goals outlined in the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and ultimately improve the health and well-being of all Americans.

One of the federal government’s primary responsibilities is to protect the public health, and to invest in basic biomedical research that leads the way for the next generation of cures and therapies. For over 25 years, SWHR has been widely considered the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease and we are dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.

SWHR Supports Dr. Robert M. Califf’s Confirmation to Lead FDA

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robertcaliffDr. Robert M. Califf, distinguished cardiologist and medical researcher, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner. President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Califf in September 2015.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) congratulates Dr. Califf. Having strongly supported his nomination and urged the Senate to confirm him, SWHR is pleased that he has been presented with this leadership role.

Dr. Califf joined the FDA as deputy commissioner earlier this year from Duke University in Durham, NC, where he had served as the vice chancellor of clinical and translational research and the director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI). In addition, he was a professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Duke University Medical Center, and the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).

“Dr. Califf is a widely respected leader in the field of clinical research and will do an excellent job leading the FDA during this critical juncture,” said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, SWHR President and CEO. “We congratulate Dr. Califf on his confirmation and look forward to working with him and the FDA to ensure that medical products are safe and effective for both women and minorities.”

 

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SWHR Supports HELP Committee’s Califf Approval; Urges Confirmation by Senate

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Washington, D.C., January 12, 2016  The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) unanimously approved Dr. Robert Califf’s nomination to serve as U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, moving the process to the full Senate for a final vote.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) strongly supports the HELP Committee’s approval and urges an immediate confirmation by the full Senate. SWHR, one of 50 organizations supporting Dr. Califf’s confirmation, believes he will provide strong leadership and direction to improve FDA’s drug approval process, while ensuring that safety and effectiveness are not compromised.

Dr. Califf, a distinguished cardiologist and medical researcher, was nominated to the post in September by President Barack Obama. Dr. Califf joined the FDA as deputy commissioner after serving as the vice chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he also was director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI). In addition, he was a professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Duke University Medical Center, and the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).

“He is a widely respected leader in the field of clinical research and has the perspective and experience to lead the FDA during this critical juncture,” said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president and CEO of SWHR. “We thank the Senate HELP Committee for their quick approval and urge the full Senate to confirm him to the post. We look forward to working with him and the FDA to ensure that Americans have access to the latest medical treatments and that these treatments are safe and effective.”

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About SWHR

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®), is a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. that is widely recognized as the thought-leader in promoting research on biological differences in disease. SWHR is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women. For more information, please visit www.swhr.org. Follow us on Twitter at @SWHR.

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SWHR Congratulates Sen. Barbara Mikulski for Earning Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Longtime supporter of women’s health research Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) will be awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, on November 24th at a ceremony at the White House.

Senator Mikulski, who will retire at the end of her term in 2017, is the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress. She has worked tirelessly on issues, including equal pay for women, college affordability, healthcare, and science research and funding.

It is for her dedication to issues of women’s health and research that the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is proud to commend Senator Mikulski on this achievement.

“We applaud Senator Mikulski and her longtime commitment to ensure that women’s health receives the attention it deserves, and that all women have access to the best treatment possible,” said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president and CEO of SWHR. “Senator Mikulski has a long legacy of accomplishments and is incredibly deserving of this prestigious award.”

SWHR honored Senator Mikulski with the Women’s Health Research Legacy Award at our 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner last March.

 

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The Society for Women’s Health Research strongly urges Congress to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

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While no deal is perfect, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2016 replaces sequestration equally for both defense and nondefense over the next two years. Failure to pass this critical legislation will hinder scientific discovery, compromise public health programs, and delay patients’ access to innovative medical treatments.

As a member of NDD United, an alliance of more than 2,500 national state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions, SWHR believes that the deal provides a path towards a bipartisan agreement on appropriations to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2016, avoids a government shutdown, and provide increases for the federal health and research agencies.

SWHR strongly supports the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and urges Congress to avoid the addition of any policy riders that would hinder the bill’s passage.

 

Arzt impft Patient gegen Krankheiten uns Grippe.

GAO Finds NIH Has Made Progress Including Women in Research, But Improved Reporting And Analysis Needed

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Last week, The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, showing that more work needs to be done in reporting and analysis policies to further ensure women and minorities are being accurately represented in clinical trials.

Since 1990, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR ®) has worked to increase equality in healthcare research, recognizing biological sex differences between women and men, and that these differences matter.

“We are pleased that this report shows progress in increasing the number of women in clinical trials. However, clearly more work needs to be done to increase inclusion in studies that include both women and men, and to ensure that biological differences are analyzed and reported,” said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president and CEO of SWHR. “Analysis and reporting of this data is critical to fostering innovative research that meets the goal of tailoring treatment to the individual patient.”

To learn more about sex differences in health and science, visit www.swhr.org.

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