Scientometrics reveals funding priorities in medical research policy
Faculty of Applied Economics
Documentation and information
Journal of informetrics. - Amsterdam
, p. 240-247
University of Antwerp
Several studies have assessed whether funding of disease specific research is in line with their burden. The authors of these studies concluded that the burden of a disease was a good predictor for its associated research funding. However, previous analyses did not take into account diseases that mainly affect people living in low income regions, i.e. so-called diseases of poverty. Moreover, the analyses were only performed for the burden diseases cause in high income countries. We investigated whether the conclusions about the relationship between burden and funding still holds when (1) including diseases of poverty and (2) accounting for the burden of diseases in low income countries. We found that the relationship between the burden and the level of diseases specific funding decreases for people living in low income countries. We find the best predictor for the level of funding to be the mortality in high income countries. In contrast to previous studies, we were able to include more diseases into our analyses (74). This enabled us to discover differences in funding levels between and within groups of diseases. we found that research on cancers was over funded with respect to the associated burden. In contrast, diseases of poverty systematically receive less funding than would be expected based on their burden. Other groups of diseases (cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses) contained both over and under funded diseases. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.