Animal testing

of one

How much money is spent on treatment and research of PTSD in the US each year?

Hello! Thank you for allowing us to continue researching your question regarding PTSD research. I've spent much of my career analyzing peer reviewed research projects, and while publicly available data is limited, I believe my findings will provide you with the information you're looking for. In short, there were 592 publicly-funded projects looking at PTSD in FY2016, with budgets totaling $156million. Of those, 7% included animal subjects, with budgets totaling $14.9million, or 16.6% of total PTSD spending.


To locate the number of research projects looking at PTSD, I used the NIH RePORTER. While this is the most complete database of awarded grants available publicly (incorporating data from NIH, CDC, FDA, VA, and ACF), as previously noted, amounts funded by the VA are not included. VA-sponsored research is entirely intramural, carried out by VA staff in collaboration with other organizations, so the funding mechanisms and budgets are tracked differently than extramural research. However, VA hospitals also apply for funding from other organizations (extramural), such as NIH. Therefore, their research is still represented to some degree in NIH-specific data sources, such as RCDC.

According to NIH RePORTER, there are currently 615 active research projects that claim to address PTSD. The organizations funding the most PTSD research are the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH/NIMH) and the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA). Total funding for active PTSD research is $179,270,740.

Of these, 119 projects address PTSD and include animal research. The budgets for this subset total $33,030,579.

Please note that subprojects are excluded from project counts, but the budgets are still included in funding totals for the parent projects. Also, figures for active projects include the awards for each year of multi-year projects. That is, if a project is funded for four years, the dollars awarded for each of the four years are included separately as active awards. To get a better idea of the actual number of unique projects, we can look at the projects by fiscal year.


In FY2016 alone, there were 592 projects that addressed PTSD. Budgets for these projects totaled $156,340,990. Though I would not normally include it in this report, as it's an estimate based on limited input, I revisited the NIH-specific RCDC reports mentioned in the previous research and found that there were 243 PTSD awards in FY2016, totaling $89,158,666.00. As mentioned above, one benefit of this report is that it provides the budget data from a few VA projects funded by the NIH.

For FY2016, there were approximately 43 active PTSD projects that used animal subjects, with funding totaling $14,858,424. Again, the major funding organizations were NIMH and VA, and again, this includes a mix of new and continuation projects, but without the duplication of multi-year awards.

I believe these figures summarize what you're looking for, as best as possible with the available data:

In FY2016, $156million was spent on researching PTSD. Of that money, 16.6%, or $14.9million went toward research that included animal subjects.

Note that the percentage here is of the total sum from all projects that include animal subjects. Individual project budget allocations for animal testing vary greatly and can not be queried using publicly available tools. I go into more detail about data availability in the next section.


- NSF data for FY2016 shows 10 PTSD grants, not including continuations, totaling $2million. Meanwhile, Grantome includes NIH and NSF data, and showed $29million in funding across 406 grants by NIH in FY2016, and $463k across 3 grants by NSF. There are several possible explanations for the discrepancies, but most likely, it is due to the update schedules for retrieving data from internal databases. For example, some reports are refreshed daily, others weekly, and others yearly. Therefore, data may become out of sync as grants are canceled, withdrawn, transferred, or supplemented.

- Not all animal testing is reported the same. While over 100 million animals are used for research each year, most facilities are only concerned with regulating the use of specific vertebrate animals, and have less stringent requirements when it comes to common research subjects such as Drosphila (fruit flies) or C. elegans (roundworms). Except for zebrafish, there appears to be a continuous drop in the number of new grant applications funded that include these animals. The decline is probably due to lower numbers of grants funded overall, rather than less interest in the models. On the other hand, in the private sector, such as in pharmaceutical development, animal research has decreased much faster. However, budgets of privately-funded projects are very difficult to obtain.

- Without access to individual project proposals, it is impossible to know how much of a project's budget goes toward animal research. In addition to basic regulated expenses like facilities, feeding, and methods of sacrifice, grant dollars are (for example) increasingly allocated toward the purchase or development of special genetically-engineered mice, known as knock-out or knock-in mice. Or in some cases, grant dollars are spent on creating the animal-friendly alternatives themselves. Deeper study of individual PTSD applications would be required to understand exactly how animals are being used in these studies and the costs involved.


In summary, my research shows that, in FY2016, $156million was spent on PTSD research. Of that, 16.6%, or $14.9million went toward research that included animal subjects.

I hope you find this additional research meets the needs of your organization. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors to improve this aspect of medical research. Thank you again for choosing Wonder, and please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.

Did this report spark your curiosity?