Chicago Tribune, May 11, 2014
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.