Policy ForumMedicine

Effects of Medical Research on Health Care and the Economy

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Science  01 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5398, pp. 36-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5398.36

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Rapidly expanding federal health care costs of an aging population will not be contained by managed care, capping or similar strategies; rather, the problem requires an understanding of the dynamic relationship of new health technologies to the overall economy. Seven factors, each related to biotechnological innovation, will combine to alter medical knowledge and practice, outcomes and costs in the coming decades, producing a multiplier effect on the economy that may well control or offset future costs. Investing in biomedical research will be key to maintaining the solvency of Medicare.