Medical research is woven into the fabric of our lives. Have you used an over-the-counter medicine to reduce your child’s fever or taken an antibiotic to treat the strep throat that's been going around the office? Have you bought a total-care toothpaste your dentist recommended or know someone who received a stent after a heart attack? That’s medical research.
But medical research costs money — it requires investment by government and industry both. The government invests in the noncommercial basic research that lays the groundwork for private sector-funded medical advances — preventative measures, diagnostic tools, treatments and cures.
What does this mean when it comes to this year’s congressional elections? If we don’t know where medical progress fits among the priorities of the people we elect, we will all pay the price. Will America win or lose the race against Alzheimer’s? Will cancer survival rates decrease or increase? Will children continue to die from diseases we are steps away from conquering?