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Funding of research at the NIH
January 1999

Pharmaceutical research is heavily funded by the federal government. In comparison, miniscule resources have been dedicated to dietary supplements. This is beginning to change. The budget for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine within the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was increased from $20M to $50M in October of 1998. This is still modest compared to the billions of research dollars spent on pharmaceuticals.

While many advocate increased government spending to research dietary supplements, such spending runs the risk of running counter to consumer and producer interests. Funding can lead to more regulation, insurance mandates, and higher prices. Furthermore, it causes funding of research to be politically-driven rather than market-driven. This is one of the reasons that dietary supplement research has been delayed decades beyond what would have been prompted by an unencumbered market.



More about standards & regulations:

Industry standards

Creating a quality model for dietary supplements

Different types of standards

Pros and cons of standards

Competing standards

Testing products for quality

Dosage recommendations

Good manufacturing practices (GMPs)

Self-regulatory quality standards

Government regulations

FDA safety monitoring

Federal Trade Commision (FTC)

State laws

Health benefit claims

RDA, DV, and other recommended intake values

Funding of research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Possible future FDA regulations

Possible future Codex regulations

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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.