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Poliquin: Investing in Health Research Could Save Lives

For more than half a century, America has led the world in medical research and innovation.

Health research facilities, such as Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL), are essential in keeping America the global leader in medical research. It’s critical that these institutions, and those across our nation, are fully supported.

That is why I am a proud cosigner of a letter to congressional leadership calling for more support for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American health research facilities across the country, including Jackson Labs and MDIBL.

In the letter, my colleagues and I write,

“House Republicans supported such an increase because we see the funding of federal research an important facet of our positive agenda of addressing the needs of the American people. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Heart Disease and many other diseases affect our constituents, our neighbors, even some of our close friends and family.

“All of us have met with constituents who are waiting for NIH breakthroughs to save lives or cure the suffering of their loved ones. Let’s take this opportunity to do something we can all be proud of, to make a bold stroke, and to make a true difference in the lives of our constituents for generations to come.”

I am also proud to have voted in support of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that will help provide more resources in a fiscally responsible manner to these engines of health research in Hancock County. This bill, which passed the House with broad bipartisan support, will provide critical funding for the NIH through 2018.

The Cures Act also focuses on young scientists so that Jackson Labs and MDIBL can attract and retain our next generation of researchers who may be able to develop cures and treatments for diseases. The bill provides new incentives to help expedite the development of therapies for rare and life threatening diseases.

Most importantly, it also modernizes clinical trials so the FDA can get results faster and, therefore, be able to approve drugs that help. This is an important step in making America, not China, the continued leader in medical innovation.

As Maine’s Second District Congressman, I will continue to support the critical health research facilities at Jackson Laboratory and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory that do such great work for Mainers and the medical community around the world.