Future Of Medical Research Funding To Be Focus Of Congressional Briefing

May 19, 1999

(Washington, DC) -- A new report outlining alternative funding sources for medical research will be released at a congressional briefing on May 25. The report, the result of a workshop sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Lasker/Funding First, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, will suggest funding options and models that can be used in conjunction with the current appropriations process to secure sustained, long-term funding for medical research. It is meant to be used as a framework for policymakers in government, the private sector, and the scientific community.

Biomedical research has led to the detection of diseases, preventive medicine, and new pharmaceuticals. However, the emergence of new infectious diseases, the reemergence of old diseases, and the global spread of disease will place a greater strain on research efforts. And while federal funding of health-related research increased from approximately $2 billion in fiscal year 1960 to almost $16 billion this year, that funding can be impacted by political decisions, congressional appropriations, and limited resources.

The report is based on a workshop held in February at the Wye River Conference Centers, where more than 30 experts in the federal budget process, public policy, and several areas of scientific research met to discuss alternative funding mechanisms for medical research. At the workshop, the participants heard presentations on the federal funding environment for research; funding from both for-profit and non-profit sources; trust funds and entitlements; and research funding through private and public payer insurance, Medicare, and tax credits.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest interdisciplinary federation of scientists, works to advance science for human well-being through its projects, programs, and publications. With more than 146,000 members and 282 affiliated societies, AAAS conducts many programs in the areas of science policy, science education, and international scientific cooperation. AAAS publishes the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science, as well as a number of electronic features on the World Wide Web.

EDITOR'S NOTE: To register for the luncheon briefing or to receive an embargoed copy of the report, contact Dave Amber at 202-326-6434 or damber@aaas.org

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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