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America's Top Pediatric Medical Institutions Unite to Drive Increased Federal Investment in Pediatric Research
Date:3/14/2008

New Legislation Would Create and Fund Innovative National System for Coordinating Research, Help Address Under Funding of Children's Health Research

WASHINGTON, March 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an unprecedented step, nine of the nation's leading pediatric medical research institutions have come together to support an innovative new approach to the continued under funding of federal support for pediatric research. This situation has been described as a crisis in terms of finding cures for children's diseases and averting the staggering financial burden on an already stressed U.S. health care system, as ill children become even sicker adults.

The Coalition for Pediatric Medical Research, which has the support of all the major pediatric research societies, represents leading children's research hospitals across the U.S., from Boston to Los Angeles. Coalition leaders say that while children represent 20 percent of the U.S. population, only five percent of the funding from the National Institutes of Health is allocated for research on pediatric diseases. They are lining up behind a bill introduced Thursday by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) that would not only authorize increased funding, but also create a new structure to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of pediatric disease research.

"The funding situation is unacceptable for today, and tomorrow," said Dr. David Williams, Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine and Director of Translational Research at Children's Hospital Boston, a spokesperson for the Coalition.

"Currently there simply isn't enough funding to find cures and better therapies for children who are suffering right now. In addition, when you consider the many serious, life-threatening health conditions that affect millions of adults, like heart disease and diabetes, which have their roots in childhood, you realize that without a concerted focus
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SOURCE Coalition for Pediatric Medical Research
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