Harvard, STATnews hold forum on “21sth Century Cures Act” #research #FDA #NIH

 

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NIH, Bethesda, Maryland

The Harvard Gazette, the school’s in-house newsletter, has a summary of the forum. A video will be available here at some point or find it on Facebook Live.

Note that NEJM editor Jeffrey Drazen said “The NIH is undergoing a slow strangulation,…Money is what drives research. You need the resources when you have an idea.”

Lots of people say this.If you argue that more money for research is always good, you agree. And if you are one of the many, many scientists trying to get the NIH money to fund a project, life is a lot harder. But, is there such a thing as evidence-based research funding? Are we getting outr money’s worth?

Note that NIH’s budget doubled between 1999 and 2003.  Funding started to decline with the 2008 financial crisis, and it’s been pretty level since then. That’s the equivalent of a decline with inflation.

Still,  to many, more is better and level is less. So the increased funding for NIH in the bill perhaps sweetened the provisions in the “21st Century Care Act”  that will speed FDA approval of new drugs. That’s good news for those who will get better and richer from new drugs. Bad news for those worried that FDA oversight is already lax. Two of the speakers expressed some “concern about speeding up the FDA’s drug approval process, saying that will result in decisions based on less-rigorous science.”

 

 

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