NIH chief may ask pharma to pay royalties on research

Looking past 2010, when more than $10 billion in fresh federal research funds runs out, the new head of the NIH is hatching a plan to gain a predictable flow of money to back an enlarged commitment to the country's researchers. And one way that the NIH could gain extra financial support, Dr. Francis Collins suggests, is by claiming a royalty from drugs that are developed following federally-supported research efforts.

Dr. Collins says that the extra research money included in the federal stimulus bill attracted 22,000 grant proposals, which he sees as a clear sign of just how much demand there is for these funds. "There is fabulous science there. This tells you there is pent-up demand," Collins told reporters.

Collins also outlined a vision he has to recruit 500,000 people for a long-term study that can identify the biologic triggers of disease. "I think if we don't start a study of this sort in the next 10 years, we will be kicking ourselves."

- read the story from Reuters