There are many miles (and, more literally, possibly several months) to go before the federal budgeting process for the 2009 fiscal year is complete, and therefore much could change. But based on the initial signs, the latest of which came Tuesday when a Senate appropriations subcommittee drafted a spending bill for education, health and labor programs, the National Institutes of Health appears to be in line for the sort of hefty increase that biomedical research advocates have been begging for. Most student aid programs, however, would receive no new funds.
The numbers will not surprise anyone who has closely tracked federal budget discussions about science and technology in recent years. But that won't make the data released Friday by the National Science Foundation any more palatable for those concerned about the American research enterprise.
Submitted by Andy Guess on October 17, 2008 - 4:00am
Last summer, the group representing major research universities endorsed legislation that sought to balance the interests of drug makers and the scientists whose work can translate into new advances in medicine. At least one group, however, is sounding the alarm that the bill would make it more difficult to bring cheap, generic drugs to the market -- at the expense of both American consumers and people in developing countries.