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Posted: August 27, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Stem cell research — a bipartisan approach?

As I was listening to the back and forth on the recent stem cell research, it occurred to me that an important opportunity for bipartisanship was being overlooked.

There was the usual anti-research side, there was the pro-research side, religious and other opinions, plus legal commentary. But where were the investors? The people who fund such research in hopes of making a profit?

The judge’s opinion only impacted "federal" funding for stem cell research. The venture capitalists in this research are the taxpayers.

If the taxpayers are the venture capitalists in medical research, where is our return on investment? Shouldn’t we have a report on what income the taxpayers are losing by stopping this line of research?

Oh, but we just give the results of such research away to businesses who then patent products that they sell to us. Hot d-mn! That sounds like socialism doesn’t it? The taxpayers (you and me) pay for something and give it away to someone else. That they later charge us for it is just insult on top of injury.

Republicans and Democrats should join together to make sure taxpayers are getting a decent return on our investment in all this research — a flat percentage of the gross sales of any product arising from federally funded research.

We can use the return on our investment to fund additional research or if another Viagra-like drug is discovered, the profits from it could even pay down on the deficit.

Patrick Durusau is a resident of Covington. His columns regularly appear on Fridays.

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