Rep. Davis: Scientific Giants Need Funding

A proposed 20 percent cut in federal investments in the National Institute of Health could affect research being done here in San Diego.

Leaders in the biotech industry met Monday with U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-53rd District) to discuss the potential for such a cut and what it would mean not only to research but the San Diego economy.

President Donald Trump had proposed slashing NIH by $1.2 billion for the rest of 2017 to help pay for his proposed increases in defense spending.

Congress refused to slash medical spending earlier this month. Instead members gave the NIH a $2 billion raise, NBC News reports.

Davis, along with 206 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, wants to see a $2 billion increase in NIH funding for FY18.

“The more research we do for the future we can envision communities that no longer have to pay large amounts of dollars for health care but where they can receive that in a much easier way,” Davis told NBC 7.

For example, she said, someone who is taking a shot every day now may soon take a daily pill instead.

“How do we make sure we have the resources our scientific giants with the help and support they need to make those discoveries,” Davis said.

The Democratic congressional member said estimates 

put the number of Americans with pre-existing conditions as almost half the population, Davis said.

“We know if we can provide better care for people, then those pre-existing conditions will not be as great a factor when it comes to being able to afford health care,” she said.

San Diego's bio tech community is at the forefront of key developments in cancer research, alzheimer's treatment and gene sequencing.

Among the local community members at the roundtable were Jimmy Jackson, Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Biocom, Dr. Larry Goldstein, Director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program and the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, P. Kay Coleman, Board Chair, American Cancer Society, California, Susan H. Tousi, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Illumina and Katrina Young, Patient Advocate, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, organizers said.

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