Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Money For This?

By: Annoyed With Things

You can say I am on fire with annoyance right now!  I have a hard time accepting the whole federal stimulus concept to begin with, so imagine my outrage when I hear this one.  NBC news in San Francisco is reporting (article here) that federal stimulus money in the form of two grants to UCSF and to the tune of $1.5 million dollars, went to study erectile dysfunction in overweight middle-age men.  Seriously!?

Now look, I agree that $1.5 million dollars in the grand scheme of the massive federal budget is not a big deal, except that it is our money!  Who decided this was a good idea?  With all of the so much more important issues facing this country, some grant reviewer said “hey, this sounds like a good idea?” - Unbelievable. 

Even if you accept the researcher’s weak excuse that “Because to my mind we save money if we get better health outcomes” how many people could we possibly be helping and with what priority of problem.  You’re telling me this money couldn’t have been better spent researching issues around diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or heart disease, all contributing factors to ED by the way.  Add to that the apparent gross inefficiency of the process.  According to the article, it cost $6,000 to conduct each of 200 interviews.  Why so much?  If I were this inefficient and cost heavy, I would get canned before I had my first cup of coffee.

So why is the federal government even funding research in this area to begin with?  I know I will never get an answer and nobody’s head will roll.  But, spend any part of the day on Sunday in the fall watching the NFL and you will quickly learn (as if we all didn’t already know) there is a huge ED industry in this county.  I bet they are doing plenty of research helping their customers to have better outcomes! 

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