Who Should Fund Medical Research?
The December 12, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article by two Johns Hopkins Medical Center staff stating that there is a crisis because medical research is becoming too expensive, big pharma will need to cut back on funding this research, and they anticipate cuts in federal research funding this next year.
While some novel suggestions such as passing bonds for research were made, the biggest problem we face is not that there isn't enough medical research, but that the vast majority of the research that is done is filled with conflicts of interest that make it impossible to trust as valid. Marcia Angell, MD and editor in chief ot the NEJM quit her job as did Ushma Neill, past editor in chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. In addition, Catherine DeAngeles, the present editor in chief of JAMA, has published considerable literature criticizing the poor quality of our medical journal articles.
I suggest we put the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the postion of regulating medical research for our medical journals. This would include all research done by big pharma. However, NIH should be funded solely by Congress. Those organizations needing (and wanting) to do medical research would pay for the studies, but all money would go to the government, not the NIH...we must eliminate the financial conflicts of interest that now exist and lead to medical articles of very poor quality. These are the studies that your doctors rely on when you're sick and in the hospital!