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[afro-nets] Tax Dollars Returned in Public Health Benefits

  • From: Philip Coticelli <pcoticelli@gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 09:40:57 -0400

Tax Dollars Returned in Public Health Benefits

So my employer, NINDS, has done net good with our tax dollars.
These therapies surely don't reach developing countries as much
as they could.

Philip Coticelli



Publicly Funded Medical Research Pays Off
04.20.06, 12:00 AM ET

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. taxpayer dollars in-
vested in medical research is money *very* well spent, a new
study shows.

An analysis of just eight of the 28 phase III clinical trials
supported by the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disor-
ders and Stroke (NINDS) between 1977 and 2000 shows they pro-
vided economic benefits of more than $15 billion.

More importantly, discoveries from these trials resulted in an
estimated additional 470,000 healthy years of life for Ameri-
cans, according to a study in the April 22 issue of The Lancet.

"The results of this analysis demonstrate the return of the pub-
lic investment in NIH (National Institutes of Health) research
for the American people not only in economic terms, but in addi-
tional healthy years of life," Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, NIH direc-
tor, said in a prepared statement.

The review of all 28 phase III clinical trails supported by the
NINDS during that time is one of the first to analyze the impact
of publicly funded research programs on medical care, public
health and health-care costs.

It found that the 10-year return on the investment ($335 mil-
lion) in clinical trials funding was 4,600 percent and that the
investment in most of the trials was returned through health
benefits within 1.2 years after funding for a trial ended.

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 pe-
riod, 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.

The research was funded by the NINDS, which had no control over
the content of the analysis, which was conducted independently.
In addition, an independent panel of health policy experts au-
dited the analysis and reviewed the manuscript.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about clinical