Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Spending on Medical Research

In its most recent issue, Forbes has a very informative chart on government spending on medical research.

They compare each drug based on dollars spent on deaths due to the disease each year. For example, AIDS/HIV comes out on top with $216.3 per death per year, while Pancreatic Cancer comes in towards the bottom at about $1.7 per death per year.

Forbes admits that the AIDS number might be skewed due to how most AIDS victims live overseas. So this statistic either shows America's generosity to foreigners, to those sometimes shunned in our society, or a combination of both.

The United States spends more dollars on foreign aid than any other country. While the percentage of GDP might be less than many other countries, that statistic ignores our high spending on medical research, our contributions to the World Bank/IMF and our military aid. Military aid does not just mean intervening in hot spots around the world. It is also about giving food, supplies and logistical support after natural disasters like last December's Tsunami.

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