GI research funding disproportionately split between diseases — 4 insights

A study, published in Gastroenterology, examined National Institutes of Health funding for GI research.

Daniel Leffler, MD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues analyzed grants for six gastrointestinal disorders. They used the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools database.

Here's what they found:

1. NIH funding showed no relation between the number of Americans affected by a disease and the amount of money directed towards it.

2. Crohn's disease, despite affecting only 0.25 percent of the American population, has the highest amount of funding at $77.5 million over five years.

3. On the other side of the spectrum, Celiac disease, which affects 1 percent of the U.S. population, had the lowest amount of funding at $15.4 million over five years.

4. Concerning overall funding, Crohn's led the list, followed by Barrett's esophagus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, eosinophilic esophagitis and then, Celiac disease.

Researchers concluded, "[This] data further suggest that a few diseases, including IBS and celiac disease, are underfunded in comparison with other diseases, especially when the prevalence, burden and available treatment options are considered."

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