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U. S. biomedical research spending drops versus major competitors

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Biomedical research and development spending in the United States decreased by $12 billion per year between 2007 and 2012 while spending by China and Japan for biomedical research and development increased by more than one percent of the world’s total biomedical research funding in the same time period according to research led by Dr. Reshma Jagsi, associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan Health System, that was published in the Jan. 2, 2013, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The continued decline of funding for biomedical research and development was in majority due to a reduction in investment from industry. The second largest contributor to the loss of research funding was reductions in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

The study also notes that less bureaucracy involved in funding and less involvement of politicians in funding decisions was a major cause of the increase in research and development funding in Asia. Lower labor costs and less regulation were also contributors to the attractiveness of Asian research and development versus the United States.

The researchers expect the position of the United States as the leader in biomedical research funding and discovery will continue to deteriorate as the United States government continues to cut funding and industries become more interested in the economic strategy of cures instead of treatments for major diseases.

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