Publicly Funded Medical Research


Early this year, Bush issued a budget freeze on medical research, in favor of biodefense research. The move sparked a lot of heated discussions among researchers and the rest of the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries. The nagging question that begs to be answered is: Is medical research worth all the investment put into it?

Definitely. Maybe some programs more than the others.

According to an analysis conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), more than $15 billion in revenues resulted from products which went through 28 Phase 3 clinical trials between 1977 and 2000. That’s equivalent to an additional 470,000 years of healthy life for the Americans.

The projected economic benefits of the clinical trial program between 1977 and 2000 were more than $50 billion, far greater than the NIND’s total budget of $29.5 billion over that same period, the study said.

“This study strongly suggests that, for this institute at least, the economic benefit from clinical trials more than offsets the total expenditures on clinical and basic research,” Story C. Landis, NINDS director, said in a prepared statement.


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