What the NIH Bought With Double the Money

After five years, $13.6-billion has produced few major new treatments and little spreading of research wealth, but the agency's leaders and supporters counsel patience

When Congress started a five-year effort in 1999 to double the budget of the National Institutes of Health, leaders of the agency and many researchers said the money would set the stage for a golden age of biomedical research. Hopes were high that the infusion of cash would lead to new treatments for some of the most serious diseases, like cancer and AIDS.

But last fall, as the $13.6-billion run-up in the NIH budget came to a close, those dreams -- and expectations that the new