By Mark Vieth, Senior Vice President
On November 13, 45 diverse organizations sent a joint letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees expressing support for several dozen medical research programs at the Department of Defense, collectively known as the “defense health research programs.” These programs, funded annually in the Defense Appropriations Act, include the “Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs” and other research programs funded through the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.
The organizations signing the letter include patient advocacy organizations, professional medical societies, research foundations, and veterans’ organizations. The letter was organized by the Defense Health Research Consortium, a coalition CRD Associates formed which consists of 13 national patient advocacy organizations. These organizations represent patients suffering from both prevalent conditions such as prostate cancer to rare disorders like tuberous sclerosis complex. The patients represented by these groups have benefitted significantly from the cutting-edge medical research funded by the defense health research programs.
At this juncture, it is uncertain whether Congress will package together and enact an omnibus
appropriations bill that would include a full fiscal year 2015 Defense Appropriations bill, or a short- or long-term continuing resolution. The Defense Health Research Consortium hopes that Congress will fully conference the Defense Appropriations Act and include the higher of funding levels for each program where there are differences between the House and Senate bills.
The letter to the House Appropriations Committees can be viewed here.
The letter to the Senate Appropriations Committees can be viewed here.