For more than a decade, the CURE program has supported a broad range of biomedical research at 39 institutions across Pennsylvania.
Per Act 77 of 2001, Pennsylvania allocates 19% of its tobacco settlement funding each year to life-saving biomedical research through the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) program.
While these funds have led to research advances in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious diseases, and public health, as well as grown Pennsylvania's economy, they frequently come under fire amid today's challenging fiscal landscape.
Once again, CURE funding is being threatened.
Restoring Funding for the CURE Program
In the News:
- PA fights to regain $180 million in tobacco money, including funds for bioresearch
March 6, 2014, Newsworks
With approximately $180 million at stake to put toward various health programs, including insurance for low-income patients, smoking cessation, and biomedical research, the first deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania expects the case to be one of the most important legal proceedings in the state this year.
- State to appeal ruling that slashed health research funding
March 2, 2014, Philadelphia Inquirer
On Friday, the commonwealth will make its case to restore the funding before a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge. "The rug was pulled out from under us," said the director of the Abramson Cancer Center. "They cut us dry, and now I'm out there trying to get donors."
- Friend of the Court Brief
The Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance has filed a friend of the court brief, supporting the PA Attorney General in her effort to appeal the court decision ending CURE funding.
In the fall of 2013, an arbitration panel ruled that Pennsylvania’s annual payment from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) would be reduced by approximately $180 million. The ruling was made in response to 2003 claims that Pennsylvania didn’t adequately enforce laws relating to the collection of payments from tobacco companies not included in the MSA.
- Pennsylvania receives its annual MSA payment in April; therefore, the current FY13-14 budget, including funding for the CURE Program, was predicated upon receipt of that annual payment.
- In response to the arbitration ruling, Pennsylvania froze all CURE Program funding – more than $40 million.
- The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office filed a motion with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas seeking to overturn the arbitration panel’s ruling and restore full funding from the MSA.
- The Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance on February 7, 2013 filed a friend of court in support of the Attorney General’s motion to overturn the arbitration panel’s ruling.
- The first hearing is scheduled for March 7th, 2014.
An Investment in Pennsylvanians’ Health and the Economy
For more than a decade at 39 institutions across Pennsylvania, the CURE program has supported a broad range of biomedical research focused on cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious diseases, and other health areas.
The Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance, representing the Commonwealth’s leading cancer centers across the state, believes the CURE program is a highly productive investment of taxpayer dollars, providing significant returns to Pennsylvania by improving the health of its citizens and growing its economy.
If the CURE program is defunded, experiments will be halted, research projects that have taken years to build will be dismantled, and scientists and laboratory technicians will lose their jobs.
Left intact with sustained funding, the CURE program will advance promising medical discoveries, support the hiring and retention of skilled workers, leverage federal and private research funding, and catalyze the formation of biotechnology companies.
Contact Your State Representative
The Committee of Seventy is a Philadelphia-based non-profit that promotes voter participation. Find a guide to contacting your state representative, state senator, or the governor on their website here.
Use the state link here to find your legislature and ask them to keep Pennsylvania in the front ranks of cancer research. Find Your Representative
(These links open to other sites.)
About the Alliance
The Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance is working together to fight cancer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by pursuing world-class basic and clinical research to improve cancer prevention and advance the standard of cancer care available statewide.
Basic Insights into Cancer—
Improved Diagnosis and Treatment—
With The Goal of Prevention
The Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance is a coalition of the state's leading research institutions including Drexel University, Fox Chase Cancer Center of Temple Health, Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and The Wistar Institute. Formed in 1998, the Alliance works to support the allocation of a portion of the proceeds of the tobacco settlement agreement to support research and prevention of diseases directly linked to tobacco use, including cancer.
Learn more about the PA Cancer Alliance:
Alliance members are among the most active academic institutions in the nation with five of the members holding National Cancer Institute Center designation– more than any state but California and New York.