HomeWashington Letter2016 ▶ ATS Urges Senate to Support Department of Defense Biomedical Research
ATS Urges Senate to Support Department of Defense Biomedical Research

June 2016

Last week, the ATS sent a letter to all Senators urging them to support the Department of Defense's medical research programs, known as the congressional directed medical research program (CDMRP). Since its creation in 1992, the CDMRP has been supporting medical research to benefit military service members, their families and veterans.  The CDMRP's groundbreaking research has led to advances in our understanding and detection of traumatic brain injury and new therapies for breast cancer and prostate cancer. The program currently supports research in pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, constrictive bronchiolitis, influenza, acute lung injury, sleep disorders, respiratory health and tuberculosis.

The National Defense Authorization Act, S. 2943, a bill that reauthorizes most Department of Defense programs and which the Senate will begin debating and voting on the week of June 6, includes language inserted by Sen. McCain, chair of the Armed Services Committee, which would halt and ultimately eliminate much of the CDMRP's research. The measure would significantly limit the range of diseases and conditions that could be studied and require research grants to comply with complex acquisition compliance and auditing procedures currently reserved for large defense contracting companies. Sens. Durbin (D-IL), Cochran (R-MS) and a bipartisan group of 15 senators are sponsoring a floor amendment that would remove the restrictions on the CDMPR from the Defense bill.  The ATS letter urges all senators to vote for the Durbin-Cochran amendment.  The ATS also signed on to a similar letter to the Senate from a coalition of over 135 medical association and patient groups. The ATS will continue monitoring Senate action on this issue.

Last Reviewed: October 2017