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The Boston Globe

Opinion

opinion | sylvia Pagán westphal

Unverified science

Studies that can’t be replicated create a problem with trust — and funds

In the debate about the impact of drugs on health care costs, most people focus on the end of the spectrum that hits closer to home: rising drug prices. But we must also think of where it all begins, and of the hundreds of millions that are wasted on scientific research that is unreliable.

The National Institutes of Health invests $31 billion a year in medical research, a significant portion of which goes to funding preclinical studies at academic centers across the nation. That work is supposed to be the cornerstone of drug discovery, since it is used by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to design the drugs of the future.

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