Strong Majority of Georgians say it is Important for the State to be a Leader in Medical Research
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Posted by: Angela King
More than half of respondents are willing to pay $1 per week more in taxes for health research
Arlington, Va.–September 28, 2016 – A vast majority of Georgia residents say it is important for the state to be a leader in medical research (88%) and science and technology (84%), as well as in education (91%) and agriculture (89%), according to a state-based public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America. In addition, a high percentage (87%) say medical research is important to the economy of Georgia.
Federal government incentives to spur private sector investment in new treatments and cures is important to many respondents (84%) in addition to federal tax and regulatory policies that encourage private industries to conduct more medical research (81%). Similarly, 82% of Georgians say the state legislature should support legislation that will encourage private investments in medical research, and 83% say they would approve state financial incentives to attract new medical research. An overwhelming majority (91%) say accelerating our nation’s investment in research to improve health should be a priority.
“Georgians understand that university and private sector research must receive adequate support from both the federal and state governments to help find solutions to what ails us,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America. “Advancing medical progress should be the goal of policymakers if we hope to develop new treatments and cures for diseases that continue to strain the economy and claim lives.”
Currently, the U.S. spends less than 5 cents of each health dollar on research to prevent, cure, and treat disease and disability. Seventy-three percent of Georgians say it is not enough. More than half of respondents (53%) say they would be willing to pay $1 per week more in taxes for more health research.
A majority of Georgians agree that local universities are among the best research universities in the nation (65%) and that they help create a stronger economy by developing a skilled workforce that allows companies to compete in the global economy (73%). When asked if Georgia (taxpayer) funds should be used to support medical research at public universities, 69% said yes. And two-thirds (66%) agree university research in Georgia helps create new products and inventions that improve the quality of life.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in grades K-12 and careers in those fields should be a higher priority for Georgia’s state government, according to 83% of respondents, and a higher priority for the federal government (79%). A strong majority (91%) say education and training in STEM is important to U.S. competitiveness and our future economic prosperity.
“Medical research is important for the health of Georgians and for the health of Georgia’s economy,” said Russell Allen, president and CEO, Georgia Bio. “Georgia’s universities and biomedical companies are major drivers of discoveries that will continue to improve the quality of life of our citizens and also serve as an engine for economic development for our state.”
Half of respondents (50%) say we are not making enough progress in developing new medicines. Many Georgians attributed lack of progress in medical research to the following: too many regulatory barriers (56%), not enough researchers (48%), not spending enough money (46%) and an R&D tax burden that is too high (45%).
Among other survey findings:
· 86% of Georgians say it is important to conduct medical or health research to understand and eliminate health disparities.
· 82% say it is important for Georgia’s state government to fund medical or health research to understand and eliminate health disparities.
· 71% agree that basic research which advances the frontiers of knowledge is necessary and should be supported by the federal government, even if it brings no immediate benefits.
· 70% agree that Georgia’s state government should provide matching funds for federal research grants.
· 56% say they are willing to share their personal health information to advance medical research.
· 51% say research to improve health is part of the solution to rising health care costs.
The survey of 812 Georgia adults, conducted by Zobgy Analytics in September 2016, has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. To view survey results, click here.
About Research!America Surveys
Research!America began commissioning surveys in 1992 in an effort to understand public support for medical, health and scientific research. The results of Research!America's surveys have proven invaluable to our alliance of member organizations and, in turn, to the fulfillment of our mission to make research to improve health a higher national priority. In response to growing usage and demand, Research!America has expanded its portfolio, which includes state, national and issue-specific surveys. Survey data is available by request or at www.researchamerica.org.
Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations representing 125 million Americans. Visit www.researchamerica.org.
Source: Research America. http://www.researchamerica.org/news-events/news/strong-majority-georgians-say-it-important-state-be-leader-medical-research-and