Brown Announces Two Bills to Boost Medical Research, Create Jobs

Brown Joined with Colleagues to Introduce the Medical Innovation Act and American Cures Act to Support Biomedical Research and Innovation in the U.S. Research Institutions Throughout Ohio Received More than $670 Million in Funding through the National Institutes of Health in 2014 Alone

WASHINGTON, D.C. —With nine out of 11 medical research projects left unfunded – leaving critical scientific research and Ohio jobs in the balance – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced his support for two bills that would increase federal investment in medical research and innovation. The legislation would direct additional funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federally-run or federally-supported research institutions. Ohio research institutions received more than $670 million in funding through the NIH in Fiscal Year 2014.

“Investing in research means jobs and medical innovation in Ohio. Our nation is the global leader in research and innovation – spurring discoveries that save lives and have revolutionized medicine,” Brown said. “But short-sighted budget cuts have slashed funding over the past decade – halting critical projects and preventing advancements. It’s time we prioritize this research and support the work conducted at NIH, along with universities and institutions around Ohio. This bill will continue our nation’s proud legacy of research and innovation while saving lives.”

Brown today outlined two bills that would increase federal investment in medical research and innovation. Brown was joined by John Lewis, president and CEO of BioOhio. BioOhio is a membership organization of more than 400 corporations, research institutions, universities, and start-ups around Ohio. Brown also released a county-by-county report detailing the funding, which supports thousands of jobs in Ohio.

In Fiscal Year 2013, NIH awarded more than $685 million in grants and contracts that directly supported more than 14,200 Ohio jobs. A list of Ohio institutions that received funding from NIH in Fiscal Year 2014 can be found below.

While more than half of all funding for basic research came from the federal government in 2012, as a percentage of the total federal budget, the federal government spends two-thirds less on research and development today than it did in 1965. The percentage of research grants that receive funding at the NIH has declined almost every year for the past 10 years.

Critical federal investments in medical research have been flat for more than a decade, and more than 80 percent of research proposals are left unfunded. Not only does this lack of funding stifle innovation and research, but it hurts job creation and may even have a lasting effect on the future workforce pipeline of medical researchers. The average age for a principal investigator (PI) receiving his or her first grant continues to increase, as does the average age for all PIs.

The United States’ share of worldwide research and development expenditures fell by 13 percent between 2004 and 2012 – from 52.5 percent to 44.2 percent – while Asian countries increased their share by roughly the same fraction – from 13 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, the annual growth rate in medical research investments in the U.S. remains extremely low – at just 1.5 percent per year – compared with Europe, which is growing its investments in medical research by 4.1 percent per year, and Asia which is growing its investments by 9.4 percent per year.

Medical Innovation Act

Brown joined U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in introducing the Medical Innovation Act, which would boost funding for critical medical research. The legislation would redirect to the NIH a portion of funds from settlement arrangements large pharmaceutical companies that break the law make with the federal government. If a large pharmaceutical company that received funding in whole or in part from the NIH breaks the law and settles with the government, part of its obligation would be to reinvest a small percentage of its profits directly back into the NIH. If this policy had been in place over the past five years, NIH would have had nearly $6 billion more each year to fund thousands of new grants to scientists and universities and research centers around the country – almost a 20 percent increase in NIH funding.

With an increasing number of major drug companies settling with the government for breaking the law and defrauding taxpayers, the Medical Innovation Act would support drug companies’ efforts to develop new cures while making it more difficult to profit from breaking the law and defrauding taxpayers. The NIH funding is generated from the largest and most-profitable drug companies – only when they rely on government-supported research to develop billion-dollar, “blockbuster” drugs, and only when they subsequently break the law and enter into major settlement agreements with the government. 

In these cases, the government settlements would proceed normally, but the offending company would be required to reinvest a relatively small portion of the profits it generated as a result of taxpayer-supported research right back into the NIH. These supplemental payments would equal one percent of the offending company’s profits for each of its blockbuster drugs that can be traced back to government research support, over a period of five years – boosting NIH funding and strengthening accountability for big drug companies.

American Cures Act

Brown also cosponsored the American Cures Act with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), and Bob Casey (D-PA). The bill would support research at the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. The American Cures Act would increase funding for each agency and program at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus five percent. This steady, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth and improve efficiency.

A list of Ohio institutions that received funding from the NIH in Fiscal Year 2014 can be found below.

ORGANIZATION

AWARDS

FUNDING

CITY

Affinity Therapeutics, LLC

2

$224,999

Cleveland

American Aging Association, Inc.

1

$46,600

Cleveland

Apto Orthopaedics Corporation

1

$222,908

Akron

Athersys, Inc.

2

$820,145

Cleveland

Baldwin-Wallace College

1

$83,951

Berea

Battelle Centers/Pub Hlth Res & Evaluatn

28

$33,849,296

Columbus

Bowling Green State University

7

$1,838,541

Bowling green

Case Western Reserve University

349

$158,784,816

Cleveland

Children's Hospital Med Ctr of Akron

1

$212,510

Akron

Cincinnati Childrens Hosp Med Ctr

253

$98,237,610

Cincinnati

Cincinnati Childrens Hosp Med Ctr

10

$7,163,698

Cincinnati

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Com-Cwru

195

$80,948,724

Cleveland

Cleveland State University

5

$1,843,844

Cleveland

Clinical Research Management, Inc.

5

$5,099,137

Hinckley

Columbus Community Clinical Oncology PRG

2

$1,153,025

Columbus

Cuyahoga Community College

1

$210,712

Cleveland

Dayton clinical oncology program

2

$1,171,743

Dayton

General Innovations and Goods, Inc.

1

$1,175,500

Columbus

Glc Biotechnology, Inc.

1

$225,000

Solon

Great Lakes Neurotechnologies

4

$2,928,315

Valley view

Great Lakes Science Center

1

$229,699

Cleveland

Guild Associates, Inc.

4

$1,346,182

Dublin

Hyper Tech Research, Inc.

2

$1,150,291

Columbus

Integrated Sensors, LLC

1

$149,975

Toledo

International Chemical Workers Union

2

$2,889,434

Akron

Invenio Therapeutics, Inc.

1

$142,460

Cleveland

Kent State University at Kent

3

$1,363,182

Kent

Kenyon College

1

$302,572

Gambier

Leadscope, Inc.

1

$149,182

Columbus

Linda and Cameron, Inc.

1

$148,007

Solon

Mesocoat Advanced Coating Tech

1

$148,874

Euclid

Metallopharm, LLC

2

$449,736

Delaware

Metrohealth Medical Center

1

$225,249

Cleveland

Miami University oxford

8

$2,110,843

Oxford

Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

3

$2,052,514

Dublin

Neurowave Systems, Inc.

1

$159,166

Cleveland Heights

Northeast Ohio Medical University

23

$6,700,127

Rootstown

Novelmed Therapeutics, Inc.

6

$3,019,655

Cleveland

Ohio State University

337

$131,481,058

Columbus

Ohio University Athens

14

$4,374,037

Athens

Ohiohealth Research Institute

1

$303,994

Columbus

P2d, Inc.

5

$1,658,849

Cincinnati

Peritec Biosciences

1

$417,257

Cleveland

Polgenix, Inc.

1

$392,706

Cleveland

Rashmivu, LLC

1

$226,007

Columbus

Research Inst Nationwide Children's Hosp

61

$25,859,310

Columbus

Rexceptor, Inc.

1

$199,122

Cleveland

Society for Investigative Dermatology

1

$25,000

Cleveland

SPR Therapeutics, LLC

1

$1,533,917

Cleveland

Thermalin Diabetes, LLC

3

$3,230,606

Cleveland

Toledo Community Hospital Oncology Prog

1

$346,487

Toledo

University of Akron

2

$710,782

Akron

University of Cincinnati

142

$60,796,838

Cincinnati

University of Toledo

8

$2,575,729

Toledo

University of Toledo Health Sci Campus

34

$9,930,756

Toledo

Wright State University

17

$7,051,832

Dayton

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