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Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance

Working Together to Fight Cancer in Pennsylvania 

The Pennsylvania Cancer Alliance is a coalition of the state’s leading research institutions that was formed in 1998. Alliance members are among the most active academic institutions in the nation, with five of the members holding the prestigious National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Center designation.

The Alliance works to support the allocation of a portion of the proceeds of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between various tobacco companies and states more than two decades ago to cancer research. The Agreement supports research and prevention of diseases directly linked to tobacco use, including cancer, via the CURE Program. 

What is the CURE Program?

Tobacco Settlement funds come to the Commonwealth as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies for the harm that their product causes to human health and its subsequent healthcare cost to state governments. 

Pennsylvania legislators designated a portion of these funds to biomedical research through the establishment of Act 77 of 2001, creating the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) program, which supports broad-based health research to improve the health of all Pennsylvanians.

Pennsylvania was one of the few states that chose to invest 100% of settlement proceeds in health-related enterprises. 

In late 2017, as a means to balance the state’s budget, the Commonwealth received authorization to secure up to $1.5 billion from the sale or bonding of a portion of the Tobacco Settlement Funds, reducing the amount of funds available for health-related programs in future budgets. The PA Cancer Alliance advocates for continuous support for cancer research through CURE funding.

Impact of the CURE Program

  • Strengthen Pennsylvania’s ability to respond to health needs of its citizens. 
    • The Program provides funding to universities, hospitals and nonprofits for health research on a broad range of subjects that are relevant for public health. It also funds tobacco use prevention and cessation programs and other care programs. 
  • Expand Pennsylvania’s economy. 
    • Creating jobs: Tobacco funds create high-paying jobs with generous benefits and long-term growth potential in the academic medical sector, which employs close to 200,000 Pennsylvania residents. 
    • Expanding state economy: By 2022, total annual economic impact of tobacco funds is projected to be between $2.3 billion and $6.89 billion. 
    • Generating tax revenue: Tax revenues are expected to grow to between $120 million and $344 million annually by 2022, whether from business volume growth within the state’s economy or from the generation of out-of-state business as research is commercialized. 
  • Advance Pennsylvania’s position as a national leader in biomedicine.
    • Biomedical advances require years of applied effort to reach a successful conclusion. To get to one success, there are countless failures, but with failure comes the foundation of more research. It takes 10 years or more to see commercialization outcomes from research performed today. Tobacco funds allow recipient institutions to leverage federal research funds for biomedical research and encourage them to collaborate to attract more federal support.

Without biomedical research funding, there will be a lack of new cures for long standing and emerging diseases.

For more information call Kathy Day, at  215-495-6920.

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