Why it is Important to Recognize Research on the Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research

Comments by
Eugene Garfield, President, The Scientist
Fax: 215-387-1266 - Tel. 215-243-2205
garfield@codex.cis.upenn.edu or www.eugenegarfield.org
at the Award Ceremony of the

Eugene Garfield Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research Award 2005

Sponsored by Research!America to  Dr. Amy Finklestein
Washington, DC. October 10, 2006


This is our Fifth annual award ceremony to honor significant scholarship that helps us better understand the determinants of the economic impact of biomedical and health research.  On the four previous occasions, I had the privilege of commenting briefly when David Meltzer (Chicago), David Cutler (Harvard), Sherry Glied, (Columbia), as well as Kevin Murphy and Robert H. Topel (University of Chicago)  received their awards.

In the past I have said something about the historic origins of this award which can be traced back to the pioneering work of Julius Comroe and Robert Dripps1 and the work of Hugh Fudenberg. For the sake of brevity, I refer you to my personal website where the origins of my interest in this area can be found.3 The work of Amy Finklestein is yet another example of the work we wish to recognize.  I am delighted that Sam Silverstein will be providing an introduction to her work.4

Conveying the economic value of research to policy makers, the public, scientists and media is critical to Research!America’s success in making the case that research to improve health should be a higher national priority.

It’s not enough that we understand and accept this idea, but we have to make a convincing argument to others. And the research honored here today gives us significant credibility in making such an argument to policy makers, the public, scientists and the media.

I’d like to personally congratulate Dr. Finkelstein for her outstanding work. I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear from her. And my own thanks to all of you for being here.

References :
1.   Comroe J. H. and Dripps R.D., “Scientific Basis for Support of Biomedical Science,” Science
      192(4235):105-11 (1976).
2.   Fudenberg H.H.,  “Dollar Benefits of Biomedical-Research - Cost-Analysis,”
      Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 79(3): 353+ (1972).
3.   http://garfield.library.upenn.edu/researchamerica/award.html
4.   Garfield., “The origins of my interest in the economic impact of R&D,”
      presented at the European Science Foundation Workshop, Strasbourg, France, May 26,   2005.