U.S. Senator Richard Durbin and 10 Bipartisan Senators Introduce Amendment to Oppose New Restrictions on Defense Health Research
The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) co-signed a letter with 137 patient advocacy groups, medical societies, veterans groups, research advocacy organizations and colleges and universities in opposition to new restrictions pending in the U.S. Senate that would severely hamper medical research funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). These provisions were included in the Senate version of the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will come before the full Senate during the week of June 6. The letter was transmitted today to all 100 U.S. Senators.
“We are proud to be among prominent cancer organizations, nationally-recognized veterans groups, universities and prestigious research centers in opposition to these proposed new restrictions on medical research,” said Elizabeth Wilson, president and CEO, American Brain Tumor Association. “We are hopeful that the Senate next week will approve an amendment to remove these restrictions from the bill and allow important research into brain tumors and other cancers to move forward.”
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and 10 of his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate have offered a bipartisan amendment to remove Sections 756 and 898 of the NDAA because these sections of the bill would prohibit funding for medical research at the DoD, unless such research meets certain narrowly defined criteria. Section 756 would jeopardize funding for research activities that have broader relevance to the U.S. military, including the health and well-being of military families and veterans, and the efficiency of the military health care system. Section 898 would place unnecessary and burdensome acquisition compliance and auditing requirements on programs that are typically applied only to larger defense contracts.
Supported by the ABTA, Senate consideration of the NDAA comes on the heels of recent actions taken by the Senate Committee on Appropriations to provide for the inclusion of “brain cancer” among the disorders eligible for study by DoD’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP). This provision was included in the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations Act, and mirrors action taken by the House on May 11 to add brain cancer to the PRCRP in its version of the Defense Appropriations Act. The ABTA led the effort to include brain cancer in the PRCRP, working with Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) in the Senate and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) in the House.
“Our volunteer advocates across the nation are ready to call and email their senators about this important issue. They will be using social media to encourage their friends to do so as well using the hashtag #researchnotredtape,” said Wilson. “We encourage every American who cares about medical research to contact their senators today.”
The letter, organized by the Defense Health Research Consortium, is available at http://www.abta.org/assets/dhcletter6116.pdf
About the American Brain Tumor Association
The American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing support and education programs for all tumor types and all age groups.
For more information, visit www.abta.org or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).
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