Medical research funding plays an important role in the lives of many people. Typically, government plays the largest role in providing medical research funding. Private industry also plays a role in medical research funding. When looking at the difference in these funding sources, how success is measured can become difficult. Government initiated medical research funding tends to focus on the public good, whereas medical research funding in the private sector concentrates more on the economic return. Success from the government medical research funding tends to be based on finding a cure, while the success of private sector medical research funding is driven by the profit generated.
Justifying how much money is spent on medical research funding is a challenge. Certainly, finding a cure can save enormous amounts of money in preventable medical expenses. But of equal importance is the amount of money spent on medical research funding to find these cures. Research indicates that medical research funding dollars tends to be spent on those conditions creating the largest burdens to society as a whole. It reflects that an unbalanced level of medical research funding is spent on chronic conditions impacting the elderly.
Medical research funding in the government sector is declining, with the major focus on investigations. A benefit of these investigations is that the information gathered from governmental medical research funding tends to stimulate private sector involvement in their own medical research funding. So government medical research funding motivates private funding by providing the private sector with the data necessary to identify opportunities to generate corporate revenues.
One challenge medical research funding faces is the recent decline in the economy. A number of research laboratories devoted to medical research funding are experiencing delayed decisions in their funding applications. This delay slows research down and jeopardizes the life of the project. For the first time, many medical research laboratories focused on medical research funding are seeing their applications denied as criteria for proof of the validity of the research has taken on a microscopic approach.
Many of the medical research funding grants support research in a variety of health related conditions, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, practically all branches of medical science. In looking at the long term effect, many research agencies feel that the impact on medical research funding is likely to remain a challenge for many years to come, which ultimately will have a negative impact on the health of people worldwide. Regardless, medical research funding is an important element in the world’s health.