(Washington — February 28, 2018) — Veterans for Common Sense this week was among 111 organizations to send a letter to Congressional leadership of the Armed Services committees expressing concern about possible renewed efforts to that would have a detrimental impact on research at the Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and other medical research conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
According to the letter:
“Last year, the fiscal year 2018 NDAA reported by the Senate Committee on Armed Services and ultimately approved by the Senate included provisions that would have individually and collectively restricted, if not outright prohibited, medical research on diseases and disorders that affect our nation’s men and women who serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Services. These provisions (sections 733, 891, 892, and 893 of the Senate bill) would have restricted the types of research that could be funded, and added burdensome contracting and auditing requirements designed for large weapons system contracts. Moreover, one of these provisions (Section 733) would have affected all medical research at DoD, not just the CDMRP.”
Those provisions were ultimately rejected by Congress, but only after a sustained, all-out battle led by the Defense Health Research Consortium (DHRC), which advocates for medical research within the DoD, especially the CDMRP. Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) is a charter and executive committee member of the DHRC. This week’s letter was also led by the DHRC.
VCS has led extensive, annual national advocacy efforts that result in Congress funding the unique, treatment-focused Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) — and more recently the Burn Pits Exposure topic area — within the DoD CDMRP.
The full text of the letter is as follows: