[A2k] Seven Public Health Groups write to oppose the "Research Works Act"

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Thu Feb 9 11:43:57 PST 2012


http://keionline.org/node/1352

Seven Public Health Groups write to oppose the "Research Works Act"

Submitted by Manon Ress  on 9. February 2012 - 12:59

On February 8, 2012, seven public health organisations submitted a
letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform and the other thirty-nine members of
this committee opposing H.R. 3699, the "Research Works Act." This
bill, originally introduced on December 16, 2011 by Rep. Issa and Rep.
Maloney (D-NY) would prohibit federal agencies from conditioning its
federal grants on recipients making its published research results
available to the public. The bill would prohibit the current NIH
policy of requiring open access to the published works supported by
research grants from the NIH.

Written from the perspective of consumers and providers of health
services, the letter says the bill would "significantly inhibit the
ability to advance scientific discoveries and stimulate innovation in
all scientific disciplines," "prevent public health groups, patients,
researchers, and physicians from accessing the results of crucial
biomedical research," have an adverse impact on "the creation of
knowledge and information," and undermine "the dissemination and
sharing of critical advancements in life-saving research and
scientific discovery."

The seven groups signing the letter included Knowledge Ecology
International (KEI), American Medical Student Association (AMSA),
Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Health Action
International (HAI), Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
(MSF), Public Citizen (PC), and Universities Allied for Essential
Medicines (UAEM).

The letter follows:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
February 8, 2012

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Issa and Members of the House Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform,

On behalf of the undersigned public health, research, and academic
organizations, we write to express our strong opposition to H.R. 3699,
the “Research Works Act," introduced on December 16, 2011 and referred
to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

This bill would prohibit US federal agencies from conditioning their
grant funding to require that all members of the public be guaranteed
online access to the products of government-funded research. This
prohibition will significantly inhibit the ability to advance
scientific discoveries and stimulate innovation in all scientific
disciplines. The bill will prevent public health groups, patients,
researchers, and physicians from accessing the results of crucial
biomedical research. It will also impact the creation of knowledge and
information as well as the dissemination and sharing of critical
advancements in life-saving research and scientific discovery.

We are especially concerned that H.R. 3699 would negatively affect the
current successful National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access
Policy, which provides for public access within one year of
publication of the original article. We are strongly supportive of the
NIH Public Access Policy, which has resulted in millions gaining
access to vital health care information from the NIH's PubMed Central
database. Today, under the current policy, more than 90,000 new
biomedical manuscripts each year are made available to the public. Our
groups, as well as patients, families, physicians, and scientists,
access and use this critical health-related information in a variety
of ways, including to make better informed decisions, to improve
health policies and outcomes, and to promote further innovation and
research.

H.R. 3699 would prohibit the deposit of these manuscripts to the
public and prevent use and access of the results of biomedical
research produced by the NIH as well as research coming from all other
US federal agencies. Furthermore, it would prevent access to critical
scientific information on hundreds of other areas that directly impact
public health. In hindering access to these manuscripts, H.R. 3699
would deny taxpayers access to the results of the very research they
have funded.

For public health, research, and academic groups as well as the
populations we serve, it is important that the NIH and other agencies
continue to provide timely, public access to the results of federally
funded research. We therefore have to oppose H.R. 3699 and ask you to
do the same.

Sincerely,

American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)
Health Action International (HAI)
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Public Citizen (PC)
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)


-- 
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.  Sometimes I am
using my MaxRoam number: +447937390810
twitter.com/jamie_love




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