Funding Crisis in Medical Research: A Whole Generation of UK Researchers Lost

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Charities warn the funding crisis in medical research, which is more likely to delay the discovery of new cancer treatments, shut down of research institutes, and a loss of a generation of upcoming UK scientists.

Due to the outbreak of COVID19, the fundraising has plummeted, with events being canceled and charity shops being shut down. The dire financial situation is foreseen to impact research that is necessary to identify innovative ways to detect, manage, and cure diseases such as cancer, heart problems, and neurological conditions.

Aisling Burnand, Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), says, “The current pandemic has put the future of charity-funded research at significant risk.” While the staff was given temporary leave in specific charities, Burnand states that the government’s £750m charity support package will not offer sufficient medical research.

BHF’s chief executive, Dr. Charmaine Griffiths, expressed that the medical foundation is losing £10m consistently even after following certain measures.  She says, “We anticipate our net income this year falling by 50%, and consequently we will have to halve our investment in new research from £100m this year to £50m.”

This is the motivation behind why AMRC and other 151 member associations, some of which are – Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, as well as Parkinson’s UK, are requesting that the legislative body offer a life sciences-charity partnership fund to aid medical study.

The proposed arrangement would be a planned subsidizing program for the following three years, with the legislature discharging £310m to channel the financing shortage from medical research charities. Burnand considers limiting the fund in subsequent years when the fundraising picks up, with the confidence that administration bolsters donations from the general community. Medical research charities have altogether spent £1.9bn on research in 2019, with more than half of non-commercial medical research funding and another £1.1bn on activities such as patient services and support. However, many charities have cautioned that the COVID19 would lower the medical study funding without any appropriate government aid.