The Financing of Biomedical Research

The Financing of Biomedical Research

The Financing of Biomedical Research

The Financing of Biomedical Research

Excerpt

This monograph was made possible by a major grant from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust. It is the outcome of a suggestion made in 1984 at a meeting of the trustees and officers of the Trust and a group of consultants who had been invited to advise on the programmatic directions the trust was in the process of determining. Since the trust was directed to disburse all of its funds by 1997, the suggestion was made that a review and assessment of the financing of biomedical research would be a valuable contribution to strengthening long-term support for this important national effort.

It is hard to believe that, despite cumulative national expenditures for biomedical research of $140 billion between 1950 and 1987, few inclusive efforts have been made to trace to vast flow of resources in terms of funders and performers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has published the key data in comprehensive, consistent series on an annual basis, but only for the years since 1961.

We realized early on that the effort to extend the NIH data to the period before 1960 was beyond our capacity and means. Instead we concentrated on identifying and evaluating the existing information for the earlier years, which we spliced together to produce a coherent story of the flow of funds over the extended span.

Because of the special interest of the Markey Charitable Trust in the role and potential of philanthropy, particularly the roles of individual giving, bequests, and private foundations, we made a special effort to explore this little-studied sector of support for biomedical research. Chapter 6, "Academic Health Centers," is . . .

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