It is truly amazing and very shocking, from 1996 to 1999, the U.S. food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 157 new drugs. Compared to the period of 2006 to 2009 the FDA approved 74 drugs. However, NOT one of these approved drugs provided a cure for any serious illness! Diseases that destroy lives, diseases like lung cancer, advanced prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease still have no drugs that offer even a promise of a cure

Yes, we have had drugs approved by the FDA that do extend lives, but we are still measuring life extension in months, not years. Considering all the money we have spent, this is just not acceptable. From 1998 to 2003, the budget of the NIH doubled to $27 billion. It has continued to climb since then, but where are the cures?

From a political standpoint, there is no downside for the president or congress to continue supporting huge budgets at the NIH. Supporting biomedical research carries little political risk, but shouldn’t there be some sort of accounting for how these resources are spent? Where are the bottom line results, where are the significant life extensions and where are the cures? It is great that we have discovered interesting things about cells and genes, but where are the cures?

If we look for a return on investment, is the NIH doing better or worse than the bailout of the banks and AIG? If the criteria for making this ju