Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

39 patient and consumer organizations for FRPAA

Thirty-nine patient and consumer organizations have written a letter to Senators John Cornyn and Joe Lieberman (and another to Senator Susan Collins) in support of FRPAA (February 16, 2007).  From the Cornyn-Lieberman letter:

The undersigned organizations are writing to express their sincere appreciation for your sponsorship of the Federal Research Public Access Act in 109th Congress, and to urge you to resubmit and continue to promote this important legislation in the 110th Congress.

The dissemination of scientific, and especially medical, research findings is integral to achieving advances that have the potential to save and improve countless lives. The Internet now provides an unprecedented opportunity to amplify the rewards of medical research by making it more widely and easily available than ever before. Greater access to scientific findings helps scientists build on cutting edge research and match pressing challenges with available expertise, accelerating innovation that provides treatments and cures....

Congress should ensure that the public reaps the full value of its investment in science by making publicly funded scientific publications easily available to scientists, medical researchers, physicians, students and patients.

As organizations concerned with public health and a fair return on public investment in the creation of knowledge, we greatly appreciate your efforts on this issue....

The letters are signed by these organizations: 

AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, Alliance for Human Research Protection, American Medical Student Association, Arthritis Foundation, Autism Speaks, Colorectal Cancer Coalition, Center for International Environmental Law, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Chemical Sensitivity Disorders Association, Coalition of Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue, Community Catalyst, Christopher Reeve Foundation, Connecticut Legal Services, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Union, Essential Action, Families USA, Genetic Alliance, Genetic Alliance BioBank, Harm Reduction Coalition, Health GAP (Global Access Project), International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association, Knowledge Ecology International, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Tay Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, People’s Health Movement – USA, PXE International, Universities Allied for Essential Medicine, and William E. Morris Institute for Justice.

"In the spirit of open and collaborative science that transcends national borders" the letters are also signed by these non-US based groups organizations:

Consumer Association for Quality of Life, Consumers’ Protection Center, Health Action International – Europe, Healthy Skepticism Inc., Insulin Dependant Diabetes Trust, International Society of Drug Bulletins, Korean Pharmacists for Democratic Society, Wemos Foundation, Zimbabwe AIDS Prevention Project.

Also see today's press release from Knowledge Ecology International on the letters.  Excerpt:

...The [39] groups stress the particular importance of greater access to published medical research, which would help scientists speed the development of new treatments and cures.

“Every barrier to obtaining this research could mean lost opportunities for medical breakthroughs that happen when the right data find their way into the hands of the right scientist,” explains Benjamin Krohmal of Knowledge Ecology International....

Heather Joseph of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access notes that "Expanding access to the results of publicly funded research is critically important to every American and to people around the world. We all benefit when scientific understanding advances more rapidly. When research is funded by taxpayers, the obligation to share findings as broadly as feasible can no longer be ignored.” ...