TMA Written Testimony
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article I
Feb. 13, 2019
Chairman Longoria and Members:
The Texas Medical Association, representing more than 53,000 physician and medical student members statewide, appreciates the opportunity to submit written comments in support of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). We respectfully urge House allocation of appropriated funds to sustain our state’s unprecedented efforts in innovative cancer research, prevention, and treatment.
CPRIT has saved countless Texans’ lives and both saves and makes Texas millions of dollars every year. A recent report by the Perryman Group estimated the cost of treating cancer, and the associated morbidity and mortality, to be $40.3 billion in 2018. Sick days and job losses due to cancer resulted in an annual productivity loss of $104.6 billion. However, CPRIT operations, prevention, screening, and research programs have helped ameliorate this impact, generating $12.4 billion in Texas business activity last year. Overall, for every dollar invested through CPRIT in 2018, Texas got back over $25 in treatment cost savings and resulting economic benefits, as well as $70 in economic activity.
CPRIT has made Texas a world leader in cancer research and has attracted some of the most brilliant minds to our state, including 159 leading cancer research scientists and their labs and 30 biotech companies. CPRIT scholar James Allison, PhD, who was recruited to MD Anderson Cancer Center as part of a $10 million CPRIT grant in 2011, recently was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. CPRIT-funded projects have provided 4.7 million prevention services in all 254 counties in Texas, including 1,185,141 screenings and diagnostics for breast, lung, cervical, HPV-related, liver, and colorectal cancer — out of which, 3,364 cancers and 13,277 cancer precursors were detected. In addition, through the Texas Cancer Plan, the geographic reach of clinical trials is expanding, providing patients and physicians across the state with local access to new therapeutics and cancer treatments. Without question, CPRIT grants for screening and education are improving access to lifesaving testing for the state’s most vulnerable populations.
Beyond the scientific accolades and economic benefits of CPRIT, no monetary amount can be placed on the mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children who get to spend one more day with their families and loved ones while battling cancer. TMA applauds the Texas Legislature for making the fight against cancer a statewide priority, and we urge the state to continue making strides in this work. Texas physicians want nothing but the best care for their patients and families, and CPRIT brings the best in cancer care, prevention, and treatment directly to our state. Please make provision for CPRIT’s continued funding.
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