When it comes to government spending on health R&D, the U.S. just blows away the rest of the world (those are the blue bars. The data is from 2008 for all the countries, except for 2006 for Korea and 2005 for the UK).
But surprisingly, when it comes to government spending on nonhealth civilian R&D, the U.S. is actually lagging other major countries. It appears that to some degree, we have gambled our economy on the success of life sciences innovation.
Note: This data comes from the OECD, so it’s slightly different than the U.S. budget data from the earlier post.