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Pa.'s Medical Research Spending to be Audited

Penn State, Pitt, Geisinger get money from the tobacco settlement.
HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA - A top state official is taking a look at how Pennsylvania spends money for medical  research. The state gets  tobacco settlement funds to dole out to health research facilities as part of the Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program, known as CURE. 

Children's hospitals in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Geisinger Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and Magee-Women's Research Institute are among the facilities that have shared nearly $800 million dollars over the past twelve years.

The research grants explored a range of health issues, including arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infectious diseases and vision problems. The funds were also used to investigate issues like tobacco and substance abuse and to advance some of the newest biomedical research.

Now the state auditor general says he'll audit the management of that research to make sure the money is being used as intended. He says he want to test CURE's performance in light of a recent ruling that could cut Pennsylvania's $320 million dollar annual share of the tobacco settlement in half.

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