Money: Well Spent and Wasted

Money: Well Spent and Wasted

My career in medicine and infectious diseases started at the same time as the AIDS epidemic.  Remember, association is not always causation.

The first report of what would be AIDS was June 5, 1981 when I was a second year medical student. The next 20 years would be spent taking care of young men with a mysterious disease that consumed them with all sorts of odd infections.

In the following decades I have watched AIDS go from an unknown rapidly fatal disease to a process that is understood in remarkable detail. AIDS was a common cause of hospital admission when I started practice in 1990; now it is rare to see an HIV patient admitted with an infection.

It was recently reported that HIV funding may be changing. 10% of the NIH budget, 3 billion this year, goes to AIDS research and this set-aside may be abandoned. It is an interesting question how money should be allocated for a given disease.

But in terms of disease understanding and treatment, I think we got our money's worth. It has been a remarkably productive 30 years of basic and clinical research.

Compared to HIV research, the money spent by the NCCAM, now the NCCIH,  on pseudo-science is much less, a total of a little over $2 billion for its entire lifetime, about 122 million a year.

And their results? What follows is a list of all the advances in understanding diseases and their treatment as a result of money spent by the NCCIH:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

You get the picture.

Quite the contrast on money spent and the subsequent results. 

Points of Interest 12/03/2015
Points of Interest 12/01/15

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