Declines in funding hamper kidney research and other areas of medical study

Medical research funding from public and private sources is at an all-time low. A new Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) article discusses the effects of such funding constraints, with a focus on the plight of kidney research.

"The scientific research investment gap continues to widen, jeopardizing potential new insights into diseases and, more importantly, new cures," said co-author Roy Zent, MD, PhD (Vanderbilt Medical Center). He and his colleagues noted that although the National Institutes of Health's annual budget doubled from $13.7 to $26.9 billion per year between 1998 and 2003, it has failed to keep pace with inflation since 2003. Also, the percentage of funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and kidney-related research has continued to decrease while the percentage of funds to other institutes has experienced a steady increase. "With 20 million Americans affected by , we can't afford to delay clinical advances for our patients," said Dr. Zent.

The authors stressed that health professional groups, patient organizations, government, industry, and others focused on improving kidney health must step up and support clinical and basic researchers. The American Society of Nephrology has developed a Career Development Grants Program to support investigators, and it has partnered with the FDA, through the Kidney Health Initiative, to create an opportunity for multidisciplinary specialties to advance kidney treatment, address patient safety, and develop therapies in a collaborative environment.

However, additional efforts are needed to make ongoing strides in kidney research and other areas of study. "Medical research and innovation are a critical component of the United States' economic competitiveness within the global economy, and they directly feed the vitality of the country's health care system. This is why we are raising awareness of the key role research plays in improving the lives of patients with disease, and why are calling for broad support for in the United States," said Dr. Zent.

More information: The article, entitled "The Kidney Research Predicament," will appear online at jasn.asnjournals.org/ on March 20, 2014.

Related Stories

Targeting certain kidney cells may help treat kidney failure

date Jan 09, 2014

New research reveals that certain cells contribute to kidney function decline, making them attractive targets for treatments against kidney failure. The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American So ...

Recommended for you

UK nurse cured of Ebola after receiving new treatment

date 2 hours ago

A British army reservist who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone has fully recovered after becoming the first patient in the world to receive an experimental new treatment.

COPD takes big toll on employment, mobility in US

date 2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The respiratory illness known as COPD takes a toll on mobility and employment, with a new report finding that nearly one-quarter of Americans with the condition are unable to work.

Genetic test for inherited kidney diseases developed

date 5 hours ago

Many kidney disorders are difficult to diagnose. To address this problem, scientists and clinicians have developed a diagnostic test that identifies genetic changes linked to inherited kidney disorders. This ...

Diagnosing infectious diseases at the point-of-care

date 5 hours ago

A major problem with current testing for infectious diseases in Africa is that it focuses on individual diseases and cannot reliably discriminate between them. Since most infectious diseases have the same ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.