Report shows stagnant research funding levels

Those in the health care field say more funding is needed to find answers to the many diseases that plague American’s health. 

According to a new report, $140.5 billion was invested in research, money that came from both public and private sources.  While the amount seems large, those involved in the field say research is pricey.

The funding levels
According to Research! America’s latest estimate, investments in health research experienced only a 1% growth over 2009 levels, from $139 billion in 2009 to $140.5 billion in 2010. This small increase was not enough to keep pace with the rise in the cost of conducting health research.

“These findings are alarming,” said Research!America’s chair, former Congressman John E. Porter. “When health research funding stays flat, medical progress stalls, our innovation economy is affected and American jobs are lost.”

The advantages of investing more
Porter says the advantages go beyond medical breakthoughs, research also creates and maintains jobs. “A nation receives great economic and health benefits from its investment in medical and health research,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. “Other nations have learned this lesson from the U.S. and are now outstripping us in the pace they are ramping up their investment.”

“We urge President Obama to include sustained, strong investment in research as a core component of the jobs plan he will be introducing to the Congress and the nation this evening,” she added.

The latest findings
While funding may not be growing as fast as some would like, there have been major advances in the health care industry.  A new way to help heart transplant patients has been discovered, and a new test to detect prostate cancer is now in place.  They are just a few of the recent developments and researchers hope many more are on the horizon.

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