Kudos to the members of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable and advocates everywhere.
Unless you work within the prostate cancer advocacy community, you mostly likely missed an important piece of news just prior to the holidays. At a time when many may have been tuned into Miracle of 34th Street and other festive distractions, it is likely that you missed an important development for prostate cancer research: the preservation of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) 2012 budget for prostate cancer at the U.S. Department of Defense. In these budget-tight times, I am tempted to call it Miracle on Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues.
However, keeping $80 million intact for CDMRP prostate cancer research–work that many within the research enterprise consider some of the most ground-breaking–is no miracle. It is the direct result of the focused energies and tireless work of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable members (both jointly and individually) and independent advocates across this country. It is important to note that the CDMRP for prostate cancer also supports the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC) with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to enroll more patients into clinical trials and help speed approvals of new drugs for patients.
It was on December 15 that the House released an Omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2055) and statement of managers, which includes Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (L-HHS). It was passed by the House on December 16 and by the Senate on Saturday, December 17. The President signed the bill into law in December 23.
We should all be relieved to see the preservation of this important research budget for one more year. But there’s more work ahead.
While policymakers are seeking ways to reduce costs, our shared vision to cure more and overtreat less is even more urgent. These two goals are not in opposition. Cancer research and prevention is an investment, not an expense that can save millions of lives and trillions of dollars. The National Cancer Institute estimates that a 20-percent reduction in cancer mortality would be worth $20 trillion to the U.S. economy—far more than the federal debt.
On behalf of millions of men and families who suffer from the impact of prostate cancer, I voice our sincerest gratitude to all the members of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable and their supporters who worked to preserve the 2012 budget:
- Ed Randall’s Fans for a Cure
- Men’s Health Network
- National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions
- Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Prostate Cancer International
- Prostate Conditions Education Council
- Prostate Health Education Network
- The Prostate Net
- Us TOO International
- Women Against Prostate Cancer
- ZERO-The Project to End Prostate Cancer
I also need to join my fellow Roundtable members in extending a special THANK YOU to Jimmy Boyd and the Men’s Health Network for the leadership and support they have provided in organizing our collective efforts.
Yes, Virginia… There is power in numbers.