Federal funds should go to medicine-makers

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., this year proposed that the U.S. spend $150 billion more over 10 years on biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. Two experts weigh in on the bill.

Is more federal funding for the National Institutes of Health the best bang for the buck when it comes to using precious tax dollars to advance public health? No.

The NIH budget is about $30 billion. But what does that buy? Where do discoveries that advance public health really come from? Some do come from NIH-funded research — but not nearly the majority. The engine of innovation is the biopharmaceutical industry, which spends in excess of $50 billion annually on research and development. It's not a competition; the NIH and industry complement each other's efforts. But context matters.

The NIH focuses on basic research, the study of fundamental aspects of phenomena without specific applications. The biopharmaceutical industry addresses most of its R&D toward clinical research, science focused on the actual development of new medicines. The NIH provides grants to academic institutions. Industry employs the scientists who do the work and, increasingly, funds academic research.


 
Sign Up for Our Email Newsletter

RECENT NEWS

Gottlieb Likely to Take On Off-Label, Predictability at the FDA

Gottlieb Likely to Take On Off-Label, Predictability at the FDA

Dr. Scott Gottlieb is the right man in the right place at the right time....  Read more

Pharmaceutical Industry Raises Issue with Cuomo's Drug Price Control Proposal

Pharmaceutical Industry Raises Issue with Cuomo's Drug Price Control Proposal

CMPI President Peter Pitts appears on NY1 News to discuss Governor Cuomo's prescription drug proposal...  Read more

U.N.'s errant prescription for drug access

U.N.'s errant prescription for drug access

The U.N.'s war on IP rights ignores the real barrier to drug access: insufficient medical infrastructure....  Read more

DRUGWONKS BLOG