Yet while consciousness and money are being raised for ALS, we as a nation are diminishing our overall commitment to medical research while spending more and more to treat these terrible diseases. Funding to the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s chief medical research agency, was 22 percent lower in the 2014 budget year than in 2003, when you take inflation into account.
Economic analysis alone should compel bolder government action because a healthy population helps us achieve a healthy economy.
Every dollar spent on medical research generates approximately $2.21 in local economic growth — a return on investment anyone in the private sector would leap at.
The medical innovation sector, funded largely by federal research dollars, is one of our nation’s great job-generating industries. Such companies employ 1 million Americans — more than 90,000 of whom are here in New Jersey with an average salary of $120,000. We need more of these types of jobs.
If we used that economic rationale alone, it would be enough to compel more investment. But it’s important to keep in mind what else these dollars accomplish.