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Rosacea Research in Perspective of Funding


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image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent $31.3 billion in 2016 according to this report. You may see the list of diseases that the NIH funds research on and rosacea is NOT on the list

Dr. Kligman in a paper he wrote in 2003 mentions the "indifference of the National Institutes of Health, which with an annual budget of nearly 30 billion dollars, has not seen fit to fund a single grant for the investigation of rosacea." Dr. Kligman also says that most research done on rosacea is by the skin industry which is "voluminous literature, mainly focused on treatments sponsored by commercial interests; perhaps not the most credible source of unbiased research.'” 
A Personal Critique on the State of Knowledge of Rosacea32.48 kB · 2 downloads , Albert M. Kligman, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

A typical example is this paper about three over the counter redness control treatments sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. 

Another example is this paper that states, "Of the 106 studies, 66 reported that they received funding, mainly by pharmaceutical companies. We were confident funding did not affect the results in 56 of these studies but had concerns about the remaining 10." [1]

The National Rosacea Society, who is heavily funded by pharmaceutical companies or skin industries, i.e., Galderma, Allergan, Bayer HealthCare, Rodan+Fields, Cutanea, has funded over $1.5 million on rosacea papers over a twenty year period. The AARS has funded a little research and notice who supports the AARS.  We could go on but you should understand who is supporting rosacea research primarily by these examples. 

One paper on demodex was funded by the Irish Health Research Board, which is an example of discovering who funded the research. You have to do some investigative digging on who is funding a research paper on rosacea. Are you into this?  That is what volunteering is all about. 

Just think if 10K members of the RRDi each donated one dollar and insisted on supporting a reputable clinician to study what they wanted, supporting their own research, what might be discovered? This can only happen if you want it to happen. Or you can continue to do nothing and let the status quo research continue on.

Joel T. Bamford, M.D., wrote an article in the Journal of the RRDientitled, Is it possible for rosaceans to do research?

End Notes

[1] Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Apr; 2015(4): CD003262.
Published online 2015 Apr 28. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003262.pub5
Interventions for rosacea
Zbys Fedorowicz, Ben Carter, Mireille MD van der Linden, Lyn Charland, and Esther J van Zuuren


Related to the skin industry funding rosacea research are the following posts: 
Skin Industry Rosacea Research & Social Media
Dermatological Textbooks Conflict of Interests
Rosacea Research in Perspective of Idiopathic Diseases

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The skin industry, of course, is the primary sponsor of rosacea research papers published in the medical journals, as Dr. Kligman points out and who commented that such papers are "perhaps not the most credible source of unbiased research.' It takes a lot of deep investigation to find the source of funding of a clinical paper published in a medical journal but if you have the time and patience you can discover who funded the research paper published. For example if you check out this article published in the Dermatology Online Journal you can find that one of the authors, Eckert M. Mendieta works at the Department of Dermatology, Clínica Dermitek, which is part of the 'skin industry.'

Dermatol Online J. 2016 Aug 15;22(8). pii: 13030/qt9ks1c48n.
Treatment of rosacea with topical ivermectin cream: a series of 34 cases.
Mendieta Eckert M, Landa Gundin N. 

Another example is a paper discussing a SPF‐30 facial moisturizer for rosacea whose authors are employees of either Galderma, Bayer, L'Oreal and La Roche‐Posay published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. [1] 

While we have shown a couple of examples of who is funding rosacea research we are still grateful for ANY rosacea research funding and can glean useful information from these published papers. The status quo research papers are without a doubt funded primarily by the skin industry, included in this are the few non profit organizations for rosacea since with the exception of the RRDi, these non profits are heavily funded primarily by the pharmaceutical skin industry. Joel T. Bamford, MD, wrote an article in the Journal of the Rosacea Research & Development Institute, Is it possible for rosaceans to do research?, which encourages his recommendation that Rosaceans should get together and sponsor their own research independent of the skin industry. What a novel idea? And that is why the RRDi was formed so that a non profit organization for rosacea should be established by Rosaceans who suffer from rosacea, and not like the other non profit organizations for rosacea who are established and run by NON rosaceans. If enough rosaceans got together, say 10,000 members, and each donated one dollar, they could sponsor their own double blind, placebo controlled, peer-reviewed rosacea research clinical papers independent of the skin industry.

End Notes

[1] J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Dec; 18(6): 1686–1692.
Published online 2019 Feb 25. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12889
PMCID: PMC6916358
PMID: 30803131
A novel moisturizer with high sun protection factor improves cutaneous barrier function and the visible appearance of rosacea‐prone skin
Hilary Baldwin, MD,  Francine Santoro, MD, Nadege Lachmann, PhD,  and Sandrine Teissedre, MSc 

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