In a letter to the president-elect, outgoing House and Energy Commerce chair Fred Upton (R-MI), Senate health committee chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and the two chairs of the appropriations committees that oversee NIH—Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)—urged Trump to keep Francis Collins as director of NIH.Under Collins, NIH launched an “unprecedented” partnership with ten pharmaceutical companies. One of the director’s main areas of focus at the agency has been “translational science”—essentially, turning theoretical research into profitable products for the drug industry. In a paper he wrote, Collins bemoans the “triple frustrations of long timelines, steep costs, and high failure rate” blocking more new drugs coming to market. To further assist Big Pharma, he started the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). Among NCATS’ priorities is “de-risking” drug development. In plain English, this means that taxpayer dollars are going into research that drug companies don’t want to pay for, because research is risky and often fails.
This is a corrupt system, and we need new blood to lead this agency. Write to the Trump transition team and urge them to find a new director for NIH.
We need a new NIH Director
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]