Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Health ROI as a measure of misalignment of biomedical needs and resources

This article has been updated

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Health ROI for overstudied and understudied conditions (see Supplementary Table 5 for the top 50 over- and understudied conditions in 2011).
Figure 2: Disease-specific health ROIs.

Change history

  • 07 August 2015

    In the version of this article initially published, a footnote and boldface type were omitted from Table 1. The column heading 'Correlation and P-values' should have read 'Correlation'. The footnote should have read “Bold: significant correlation coefficients, P < 0.01.” In the body of the table, P-values were present in all cells, but these should have been omitted and bold face should have been used to indicate significant correlation coefficients. The errors have been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.


  1. 1

    Merton, R.C. Bell J. Econ. 4, 141–183 (1973).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Black, F. & Scholes, M. J. Polit. Econ. 81, 637–654 (1973).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Gross, C.P., Anderson, G.F. & Powe, N.R. N. Engl. J. Med. 340, 1881–1887 (1999).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Gillum, L.A. et al. PLoS ONE 6, e16837 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Sampat, B.N., Buterbaugh, K. & Perl, M. Milbank Q. 91, 163–185 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Vanderelst, D. & Speybroeck, N. J. Informetrics 7, 240–247 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Evans, J.A., Shim, J.-M. & Ioannidis, J.P. PLoS ONE 9, e90147 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Murray, C. Bull. World Health Organ. 72, 429–445 (1994).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Reiss, J. & Kitcher, P. THEORIA 24, 263–282 (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Kleinbaum, D., Kupper, L., Nizam, A. & Rosenberg, E. Applied regression analysis and other multivariable methods (Cengage Learning, 2013).

  11. 11

    Vanderelst, D. & Speybroeck, N. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 4, e576 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We are grateful to R. Kumar and H. Madsen for helpful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. This work was supported by US National Institutes of Health grants 1P50MH094267 and U01HL108634-01 (A.R.), GlaxoSmithKline funds (L.Y., Y.L., S.G.) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Faculty Research Grant (L.Y.).

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Lixia Yao or Andrey Rzhetsky.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

S.G. is an employee of GlaxoSmithKline.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Data

Supplementary Data; Supplementary Tables 1–5 Supplementary Figure 1 (PDF 692 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yao, L., Li, Y., Ghosh, S. et al. Health ROI as a measure of misalignment of biomedical needs and resources. Nat Biotechnol 33, 807–811 (2015).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing