US investments in medical and health research grew 20.6% from 2013 to 2016: 5 things to know

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Investments in medical and health research and development grew 20.6 percent between 2013 and 2016, although R&D spending only accounts for a modest portion of the total $3.5 trillion of U.S. health expenditures, according to a Research America report.

Researchers analyzed data and estimates from public sources to review trends in financing healthcare research over the past four years. 

Here are five report insights.  

1. In 2016, $171.8 billion was spent on U.S. medical and health R&D. In 2013, this number was $142.5 billion.

2. The private sector contributed nearly $115.9 billion to medical and health R&D spending.

3. Of the nearly $3.5 trillion spent on health, 4.93 percent was allocated to R&D in 2016 — a benchmark consistently met since 2013.

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco