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February 1979

Priorities for Government-sponsored Research in Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas 5323 Harry Hines Blvd Dallas, TX 75235

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(2):132-133. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130020022003

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In May 1978, a meeting was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) titled, "Symposium on the impact of infections on medical care in the United States: Problems and priorities for future research." A more direct title might have been, "What kinds of research in infectious diseases should the NIH support?" because that was the thrust of the two-day meeting. It is no secret that, historically, the NIH has not supported so-called clinical research that often produces information of immediate, practical application. Should there be a balanced support of basic and clinical research by the federal government? Can the government justify spending tax dollars on clinical investigations that might lead to financial advantages for pharmaceutical companies? These are difficult questions to answer.

I was asked to speak on problems in pediatric infectious diseases that deserve investigation. I not only realized that I was inadequate for the task, but I

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