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Economic benefit of NINDS-supported clinical trials estimated at more than $15 billion

A comprehensive review of all phase III clinical trials supported by one Federal agency finds that, estimated conservatively, the economic benefit in the United States from just eight of these trials exceeded $15 billion over the course of 10 years. The study also found that new discoveries from the trials were responsible for an estimated additional 470,000 healthy years of life. The clinical trials were sponsored by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The study is one of the first to systematically analyze the impact of a publicly funded research program on medical care, public health, and health care costs. The analysis showed that the 10-year return on the investment in clinical trials research funding was 4600 percent. The researchers also found that the projected benefits of the clinical trial program during the period covered by this study were more than $50 billion far greater than the total budget of the NINDS ($29.5 billion) during that period. The investment in most of the trials was returned through health benefits within 1.2 years after the trial funding ended.

"The results of this analysis demonstrate the return of the public investment in NIH research for the American people not only in economic terms, but in additional healthy years of life," says Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director of the NIH. "We are transforming the practice of medicine by moving into an era when treatment will increasingly become more predictive, personalized, and preemptive."

"This study strongly suggests that, for this institute at least, the economic benefit from clinical trials more than offsets the total expenditures on clinical and basic research," says Story C. Landis, Ph.D., director of the NINDS.

The investigators, led by S. Claiborne Johnston, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, evaluated the costs and public heath benefits of all 28 phase III c
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Contact: Natalie Frazin or Margo Warren
301-496-5924
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
20-Apr-2006


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