Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, has been saying that the US National Institutes of Health should be restructured to focus on health care outcomes, rather than on scientific outcomes. In the Boston Globe last month, Crow wrote that NIH should have three institutes focused on basic biology, health outcomes, and "health transformation," by which Crow means overarching health care system problems such as affordability of treatment. In a follow-up article this week, Crow seeks to clarify his thought experiment, saying he is not calling for a reduction in funding or for a slowing of the pace of research. "My argument stems from concerns I share with both scientists and health care policy experts that this investment be better focused on improving clinical practice and health outcomes," he writes. "While undirected basic research may well lead to applications and treatments, the process is neither automatic nor inevitable, and I would argue that our measure of science should include an assessment of its social or economic impact as well as its scientific validity."
If Wishes Made It So
Jul 07, 2011