Bioethics Blogs

NIH Budget Increase on One Hand, Fewer Outputs on Another

I love reading the news posts in Nature and Science that I
receive in the journal’s eAlerts. This past month was most interesting because
there were two news posts that I thought were actually a bit contradicting. The
first one titled “Spending bills put NIH on track for the biggest raise in 12
years” was published in July of this year and explains how both houses of
congress want to increase the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) annual
budget (Kaiser, 2015a). The Presidential branch wants to give the NIH a 1
billion dollar increase while just recently, a Senate panel approved a 2
billion increase. The article also goes onto say that certain programs have
been given priority such as the Alzheimer’s research and others like the Agency
for Healthcare Research and Quality will receive cuts. Needless to say, I am
sure that biomedical and behavioral scientists throughout the country are
probably ecstatic. But is this really a good thing?

The other news blurb I read was titled an “A for effort,
C for impact from U.S. biomedical research, study concludes” also written by
the same author (Kaiser, 2015b). In this article, Jocelyn Kaiser reports the
results of a study by two research scientists Dr. Arturo Casadevall and Anthony
Bowen who examined publications in the PubMed database and the number of
authors, along with the approval of new drugs and their work was published in
the journal
Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences (USA)
. The researchers compared publication outputs
with the number of new molecules approved by the U.S.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.