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CMS: Medical research spending may be rising

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The United States may be investing a little more on noncommercial medical research this year than government forecasters had originally expected.

The analysts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) who create the country’s National Health Expenditure (NHE) projections now believe that noncommercial U.S. medical research spending will increase 1.9 percent this year, to $46.7 billion, according to an NHE paper published in Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed health finance journal.

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A year ago, the CMS analysts were predicting that medical research spending would fall 1.7 percent, to $46.4 billion.

If the analysts are correct and research spending increases to $46.7 billion, research funding will still be lower than it was in 2012. In 2012, the United States invested about $48 billion in noncommercial medical research.

Much of the country’s medical research and development spending now focuses on efforts to develop specialty drugs, the CMS analysts say.

The analysts say research spending could increase to $53.3 billion in 2018, and $72 billion in 2024.

The CMS analysts expects investments of all kinds in all kinds of health care activities to increase 1.7 percent this year, to $167.6 billion.

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