U.S. Senate passes rare disease research measures

The House (last month) and the Senate (this Thursday) approved legislation that would double annual federal authorization for grants to companies to do research on rare diseases.
Call me cynical, but I think the administration did this to take the heat off them for not authorizing federal spending for stem cell research. Also, it’s peanuts, really. Double of practically nothing is still practically nothing. The bill authorizes expenditures of $25 million (up from $12 million) to research 6000 diseases that affect 25 million people. That’s $1 per person. Even MDA raises more than that: $58.3 million last year. (I’m not agitating for a larger slice of the pie here, mind you; I’m advocating a larger pie.)

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