U.S. struggling to compete in biotechnology funding

At a congressional hearing over the proposed fiscal year 2013 budget for the NIH, concerns were raised about America's ability to compete with other countries in the biotechnology arena.

"We are facing unprecedented competition from around the globe to be the leader in biomedical research," Dr. Scott Koenig, the president and CEO of Macrogenics, said on behalf of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Koenig further warned that decreased support for medical research would lead to long-term negative impacts for the biomedical industry in America.

"It's interesting if you look across the board," Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH, said when asked about foreign investment in medical research. "China just announced a 26 percent boost in one year for their support of basic research, and India has been in double digit increases for several years." In comparison, U.S. investment in basic research at the NIH has remained constant in the 2011, 2012 and proposed 2013 budget requests.

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who raised the issue, agreed that more money was needed.

"What is at stake is whether national investments in medical research will be continued and expanded, or whether we will scale back these efforts, lose jobs, and cede leadership to other nations," DeLauro said.