OBSSR Responds to Concerns about NIH Guidance on the Funding of Health Economics Research

In November 2015, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued guidance Clarifying NIH’s Priorities in Health Economics. The notice was accompanied by blog post from Carrie Wolinetz, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy (see Update, December 1, 2015). In a recent blog post, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) director William Riley responded to questions the office has received from the social and behavioral science community regarding the impetus for the NIH notice. Riley highlighted his participation in the guidance’s development and his desire to convey and assure the research community that “health economics research is alive and well at the NIH.” Accordingly, in the blog post, he emphasizes that “health economics is one of many behavioral and social science research domains central to the NIH mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” Further, “health economics research methods and approaches offer critical insights into the societal burden of disease, the determinants of health and health-related behaviors, and new approaches to address a range of individual and population determinants of health.”

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