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U.S. Research Funding Continues to Flatten as U.S. Health Costs Climb - in August 31 Science
Date:8/30/2007

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Total U.S. investment in health-related research grew by a modest 4.2% from 2005 to 2006, significantly slower than the 6.8% increase in U.S. health costs, according to a report released today by Research!America. The report is covered in the August 31 issue of Science.

The nation spent approximately $116 billion last year on research to find new ways to treat, cure, and prevent disease and disability. This represents a decrease relative to total health costs. For every dollar spent on health overall, 5.5 cents went to research in 2006, the smallest portion since 2001. This decline continues a trend that started in 2005, following a flattening in federal research spending that began in 2004.

"The importance of federal research investment in priming the pipeline for other sources of research funding cannot be underestimated," said the Honorable John Edward Porter, chair of Research!America. "The U.S. government's contributions to basic science have made our nation the world leader in medical and scientific discovery -- a position at risk if federal funding does not keep pace at least with biomedical inflation."

The Research!America report, "2006 Investment in U.S. Health Research," finds that spending by sector on health-related research was flat or rose just slightly from 2005:

-- The combined health research budgets of the National Institutes of

Health (NIH) and other federal agencies were essentially flat from 2005

to 2006, maintaining a trend that began in 2004.

-- In 2006, the largest federal agency that funds health-related research,

the NIH, saw its budget remain flat for the third year in a row, at

$28.5 billion.

-- Industry R&D spending, which has for several years exceeded federal

sources, increased only slightly from $61 billion in 2005 to $64.5

billion in 2006. However, this growth is overshadowed by the fact that
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SOURCE Research!America
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