The Painful Political Truth About Medical Research

Spending for research on major diseases, such as cancer, heart attacks, and AIDS, arouses intense emotions because life-and-death choices are involved. Unfortunately, the distribution of funds among diseases deviates greatly from the socially most desirable allocation that would give the greatest overall benefit. The money is misallocated, in large part, because well-organized advocacy groups for particular diseases, such as AIDS, use their political clout to get disproportionate shares of the research budget.

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