April 04, 2017

At HELP Committee Hearing, Senator Hassan Highlights Harmful Impact of President Trump’s Budget Cuts to National Institute of Health

At HELP Committee Hearing, Senator Hassan Highlights Harmful Impact of President Trump's Budget Cuts to National Institute of Health

Senator Also Underscores Importance of Increasing Prescriber Training to Combat Substance Misuse, Lowering Cost of Prescription Drugs for Seniors and Families

WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Maggie Hassan participated in a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing, where she questioned Kay Holcombe of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization on the impact of President Trump's proposed budget cuts to the National Institute of Health (NIH) on the development of lifesaving treatments and cures.

Recognizing that sustained, robust investment in biomedical research at the NIH is critical to developing new, innovative treatments and products that can improve the lives of patients, Senator Hassan asked Ms. Holcombe, "How would [President Trump's] 20 percent budget cut to NIH impact the patients served by your members?"

Ms. Holcombe responded, "I think the impact would be disastrous. We agree with you completely about the importance of NIH research. It forms the basic building block on which we do our work, we develop the products, but we have to have this basic understanding of the disease first, and NIH is the flagship of American science and we think cutting its budget by that significant amount is not a good idea."

Senator Hassan also noted the positive impact NIH research has had on New Hampshire's economy, including $99 million in awards from the NIH, which generated close to $239 million in new economic activity last fiscal year in the Granite State.

In addition, Senator Hassan asked David Gaugh of the Association for Accessible Medicines about how the industry is working to educate prescribers in the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for extended-release and long-acting opioids in order to combat the opioid addiction crisis in New Hampshire and across the nation.

Senator Hassan also highlighted the importance of financial transparency for pharmaceutical companies as part of efforts to hold down the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Last week, Senator Hassan helped introduce theImproving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Actto bring much-needed relief to families and seniors.

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