Stem Cell Research: Economic Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages and disadvantages of stem cell research from an economic point of view.

Stem cell research is a very hot topic for many reasons. The economic upsides and downsides to stem cell research were investigated. New jobs could potentially be created in the research and development fields. Jobs could be lost in the pharmaceutical industries that are treating diseases that could potentially be cured with stem cell technology. Huge amounts of money could be saved in healthcare costs in the event of a breakthrough in stem cell research.  There are several other economic upsides and downsides to stem cell research.

Advances in stem cell research could save billions of dollars in healthcare costs. In 2008, healthcare costs in the United States totaled $2.4 trillion. Stem cell treatments or cures could lead to a potential savings of $250 billion per year in healthcare costs. California’s Proposition 71 is expected to create healthcare cost savings of $3.4 billion. Michigan and Texas are two other states have the potential to save a substantial amount of money as well. Michigan has 770,000 residents that are affected by diseases that could be relieved by stem cell research. If advances in stem cell research reduced healthcare costs by only 1%, Michigan residents would save $80 million per year. Texas has over 1 million residents affected by conditions that could benefit from stem cell research. Advances in stem cell research could create healthcare savings of $140 million for Texas residents.

It has become evident that there are industries that could lose economically from advances in stem cell research as well as those that could gain from it. In most cases, those who stand to lose economically from advances in stem cell research are larger corporations, the government and private investors. Those who stand to gain from stem cell research are the general public that spends trillions of dollars on healthcare every year. Unfortunately, the few groups that are more likely not to benefit from stem cell research are also those that are more powerful and influential.

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