Coronavirus could cause £7.8 billion shortfall in medical research
October 23, 2020

Medical research charities are expected to lose almost 38 per cent of their fundraising income this year, and over 25 per cent next year. 

Restrictions on fundraising events, charity shop closures and wider economic uncertainty are all contributing to these losses, according to the think tank. 

IPPR estimates that this lost charity income and the adverse economic conditions will cause a cumulative £7.8 billion shortfall in health research and development (R&D) investment between now and 2027 – equal to 10 per cent of UK health R&D. 

 Up to £4.1 billion less investment in health R&D by medical research charities, due to lost charitable income.
 Up to £3.8 billion less investment from the private sector in UK health R&D, due to the above reduction in charitable investment and adverse economic conditions.

Fewer new treatments

The think tank estimates that of the £3.8 billion reduction in private sector investment, £1.3 billion is attributable to reduced charity sector spend. Charities provide the foundation for private investment, and the UK’s unrivalled medical research charities have been a long-standing draw for global businesses, according to IPPR.

These figures constitute a ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ according to the researchers. However, even in the ‘best-case scenario’ the study predicts £4.5 billion less R&D investment – £2 billion of which is attributable to lost charity income. Ultimately, this will lead to less treatments for patients, warns IPPR.

Devastating cuts to charity research

Our Chief Executive, Dr Charmaine Griffiths, said: “To overlook the scale of research funded by charities at this critical time would put life saving discoveries at risk, threaten our economic recovery and jeopardise the Government’s ambition to make the UK a global ‘science superpower’.

“Charities have driven significant breakthroughs which have turned the tide on some of our biggest killers including heart disease and cancer. But without Government commitment to a Life Sciences-Charity Partnership Fund, charities will be forced to make devastating cuts to their research which will be hugely damaging for patients and UK science. At the BHF we have already halved our research investment from £100m to £50m this year.

“Science has taken centre stage this year and the vital role of research has never been clearer. Keeping our scientific edge is essential to ensuring the UK economy gets back on track and enabling breakthroughs that save and improve lives.”


Source: https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2020/october/coronavirus-could-cause-78-billion-shortfall-in-medical-research


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