Friday, 17 Jan 2020

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Funding for Rheumatology Research in Decline

The Rheumatology Research Foundation and Rheumatology News report that research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) dropped by 52% from 2010 to 2014, while the number funded by private foundations fell by 29% over that period.

In 2010, 826 projects were funded by the NIH to ACR members. By 2014, that number was down to 515 (52% decline). During the same timeframe, private foundation funding to ACR contacts went from 90 to 64 funded projects (29% fall).

In that same time period, NIH funding went from $1.16 billion to $686 million while investment by private foundations dropped from $20.7 million in 2010 to $13.6 million in 2014.

The RRF reports that funding for osteoporosis dropped by 31%, while arthritis and lupus were down 22% and Lyme disease spending fell by 21%. Federal funding of autoimmune disease research was down by 16%. Funding was up for scleroderma (14%) and fibromyalgia (11%), although the total spending for these two areas was much lower than for the others, with 2014 scleroderma funding ($24 million) coming to about a tenth of that for arthritis ($239 million).

These trends will strain the efforts of academic investigators and put greater pressure on the ACR and RFF to foster new revenue streams for rheumatology research.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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