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Research Community Calls for End of Sequestration

November 15, 2013—The AAMC joined more than 180 organizations and institutions representing patients, scientists, and health care providers in a Nov. 12 letter to the chairs of the House-Senate budget conference, urging “Congress and the Administration to work together on a responsible FY 2014 budget agreement that replaces sequestration with a balanced plan that recognizes the significant cuts already made to discretionary programs, preserves the nation's investment in medical research, and protects the health of the American people.”

The letter, addressed to Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), was organized by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research.

The letter warns that “instead of investing more in medical research, our nation’s commitment to medical research has continued to shrink to a point where we are sacrificing real opportunities for discovery of new innovations and medical advances.” 

Sequestration resulted in a $1.5 billion reduction in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in FY 2013.  As a result, NIH estimates that it funded 640 fewer competitive research project grants, resulting in a historically low success rate of 17 percent.

The letter cites efforts to develop a universal flu vaccine and the Framingham Heart Study as examples of projects that have been cut as a result of sequestration.

The letter also notes the threat to the next generation of scientists and states that nearly two-thirds of the Ph.D. programs that responded to a recent AAMC survey reported that they have decreased or are anticipating decreasing the size of their programs.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806