Dear Colleagues,

I would like to pose a question which in some respects it maybe considered
rhetorical and in some respects it may be considered not very relevant to
this forum. However, as it is aimed to be thought provoking and the topic
is focused on engineers and physical scientists working in medicine. This I
hope will make it relevant to this forum. I also hope to get some responses
from the more senior workers in the field, from their own personal

The question is:
Are there any figures available to show the grant investment (by
governments, charities or research councils, etc.) in the following two
opposing fields.
a- management of diseases by pharmaceutical means
b- management of diseases by non-pharmaceutical means.

What I hope to find is information on how much public money is channelled to
increasing drug dependence and how much is channelled to decreasing. I
would also strongly encourage a response from those who may have specific
examples of relevant projects.

I also like to link the discussion, if there is any at all, to the concepts
of “market forces” and “ethics”. If the work of scientists is driven by
funding and funding sources are increasingly market/industry related then
are scientists driven by the profit factor? (indirectly at least). How do
scientists reconcile the opposing need of the industry for more consumerism
with the ethical needs of patients to become more self reliant and less
dependent on drugs or devices.

Take diabetes as an example and the funds that go into researching the usage
or development of medicated treatment strategies as opposed to non-medicated
alternatives. The latter would require developing methods and models to
understand the physiological aspects of exercise and diet. However, I think
much of the investment is in developing new drugs or in developing new drug
delivery devices!

With best wishes for the new year for all


Dr. H Rassoulian MIPEM, CSci, CEng, FIMechE, CS
Head of Clinical Bioengineering
Dept. Medical Physics & Bioengineering
Southampton General Hospital
Tremona Rd.
Southampton SO16 6YD

Tel: +44 (0)23 80 79 69 45
Fax: +44 (0)23 80 79 41 17
Alternative Email:

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