Fighting Brittle Bone Disease, Creating Jobs
I was honored this morning to welcome to Capitol Hill nearly 100 advocates for Osteogenesis Imperfecta, an extremely rare disorder also known as “brittle bone disease.” I was even more humbled when I was presented with an award for supporting medical research that will, hopefully, one day lead to a cure for this heartbreaking disease.
We must continue to support federal funding for medical research. As we work to address our country’s unsustainable deficit, many lawmakers often look to research funding as the first place to cut. But I believe health innovation is key to our country’s economic recovery. Supporting medical research is important because it generates high-paying jobs and keeps America competitive in biomedical science.
In Maryland, for example, our growing life sciences sector has generated one third of all job gains over the last 10 years. It’s now supporting more than $9.6 billion in salaries for Maryland families and contributes nearly $500 million to incomes and sales tax revenues each year.
Not only is research the economically smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do for the millions suffering from painful brittle bone disease. Research studies being conducted at NIH (which is based here in Maryland) and across the country are our nation’s best hope for finding cures, improving treatments and gaining a better understanding of the complex causes of diseases like OI that affect millions of Americans.