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Ideally, resource allocation for biomedical research, especially federal funding, should accurately reflect disease burden, the potential for better understanding of biological processes, and the quality of the research. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a health metric that measures years lost due to premature mortality or disability associated with a health condition, may be one method to assess the relationship between disease impact and research, but other factors must be considered, such as disease prevalence and incidence, use of resources, and costs to society.
Baquerizo Nole KL, Fox JD, Kirsner RS. In Search of a Proportionate Funding in Medicine. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(6):583-584. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.5112