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The American Federation for Medical Research Unites Top Leaders to Mitigate U.S. Crisis in Clinical Research
Date:4/14/2009

WASHINGTON, Apr. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) today has brought together several leaders from the public and private sectors to take action against the crisis in U.S. clinical research. This symposium marks the first time that major U.S. government agencies, corporations and leading academic institutions have united to address the issues that have prevented clinical research from advancing in America. This lack of advancement is part of the reason why the quality of the U.S. health care system has deteriorated. Until a higher priority is placed on clinical research and the most crippling issues are mitigated, it will be difficult to achieve sustainable change in the U.S. health care system, and the quality of health care delivered in the U.S. will continue to trail other nations.

"Medical science and the U.S. health care system cannot progress without clinical research," said Dr. Alan Buchman, president of the AFMR and a prominent physician in gastroenterology. "Yet our nation has neglected the advancement of patient-oriented clinical research, which can prevent disease, lead to more effective disease treatments, medical breakthroughs for chronic diseases, and cut the astronomical costs and inefficiencies that plague our health care system. These leaders have the potential to influence the advancement of clinical research, which will have an enormous positive ripple effect on the rest of the health care system," said Buchman.

Clinical research has not advanced in recent years due to:

  1. A loss of physician investigators and failure to educate, train and retain enough new clinicians in the techniques of clinical investigation for future generations of Americans. In addition, the current generation of physician investigators is aging rapidly and there are not enough investigators to replace them because support for new investigators entering the field has decreased significantly in recent years.
  2. Investigator educational programs are insufficient and under-funded. Federal budget cuts to research programs funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are a root cause of this deficiency.
  3. An over-reliance on the pharmaceutical industry to conduct our nation's clinical research. This sector simply cannot fulfill our nation's clinical research needs -- nor is it the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry to discover the natural history of disease and all of its modifiers.
  4. The U.S. infrastructure for clinical research has eroded and shifted largely to China and India, along with the jobs and revenue associated with such research.

*NOTE: The AFMR is available to all journalists seeking to better understand the issues surrounding clinical research. For an in-depth interview with American Federation for Medical Research President Dr. Alan Buchman, please contact Gwen Knapp at 502-265-0216 and visit the AFMR web site at www.afmr.org.

    CONTACT:
    Gwendolyn Knapp
    TOP SHELF Communications & Public Relations
    901-229-0416
    gknapp@topshelfpr.com


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SOURCE American Federation for Medical Research
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