Stop Giving to Komen

3 thoughts on “Stop Giving to Komen”

  1. Without commenting on the accuracy, I’d like to suggest two points. Research funding typically include indirects, which are a percent of the directs (cost of research: IRB applications, reagents, labs, et cetera, AND salaries). In the case of IRB applications, the fee alone can be $2,000 per site. If the principal investigator delegates this application to a team member, such as a research nurse, then you might estimate a cost of $80-$150 per hour, include salary, pay-roll taxes, benefits, et cetera. Indirects are meant to cover things like infrastructure and administration, such as grants managers and accounts. The NIH minimum (default) is 10%, but I have seen it as high as 100%. Very few organizations can convert even 90% of the grant funds to direct research. If that is to exclude salaries of the researchers and analyst, then that percent drops. The fees for publishing in peer-reviewed journals or attending (presenting at) conferences can be $750 or more, not including travel, room, and board. The second point, not addressed in the video, is that many, many more women will die of cardiovascular diseases than breast cancer. Yes, breast cancer is tragic, but I do not see a prominent Go Red campaign. From my perspective, address the huge issue, then address the big issue.

    1. Kevin,

      Hey man, thanks for the condolences… I fully agree that breast cancer isn’t the biggest fish to fry, even among cancers only – lung and prostate are woefully under-discussed, but people like boobs and pink, so here we are. In a perfect world we’d start with heart disease and work our way down. I’m just going after what I feel is a particularly egregious violator of people’s goodwill.

      I understand your points on research spending – I don’t have near the experience you do, but I am a controller by trade, so the concept of indirect costs and the surprising amount of overhead needed to do anything are familiar concepts. In this example, all those costs would siphon from the $32M in the grants Komen issues, not be incurred at Komen itself. Even if they were, let’s say we give them a pass on the $11M of their own overhead dedicated to Research – it’s the $122M in “education” that strikes me as the tragedy here – it’s thinly veiled brand marketing for SGK, and it should be going towards research.

      I appreciate comments in general, and I’m particularly appreciative of well-written and knowledgeable ones. My thanks to you…

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