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UK medical research has economic benefits

Date: 10 January 2018

Every £1 invested in medical research delivers a return equivalent to 25p every year - a new study highlights how investment in medical research can lead to improved health outcomes, as well as economic gains.

Through taxes and donations, the Government, charities and public, invest huge amounts of money into medical research each year. The peer-reviewed ‘What’s it worth?’ study looked at the economic benefits generated by public and charitable investment in UK medical research.

This is the third in the ‘What’s it worth’ series of studies, previous editions have focused on cancer and cardiovascular research, in order to help understand the range of impacts and estimate the scale of returns from medical research.

The latest study focuses on musculoskeletal disease research. Conditions can affect the bones, joints, muscles and spine; causing pain, fatigue and isolation for more than 10 million people in the UK.

The research team was led by Professor Jonathan Grant from King’s College London and Professor Martin Buxton from Brunel University. They reviewed musculoskeletal research in the UK from the years 1970 to 2013, calculated rates of return and looked at research that led to new procedures and drugs.

The results are published in Health Research Policy and Systems and show for every £1 invested in musculoskeletal disease research, there are patient benefits and economic returns equivalent to 25p a year, forever.

The team also found the average time between funding and impact of musculoskeletal disease treatments was 16 years.

The NIHR provided funding in partnership with the Academy of Medical Sciences, Arthritis Research UK, the Medical Research Council and Wellcome, to support this study.

You can read the briefing and summary of findings here.

 

  • Summary:
    Every £1 invested in medical research delivers a return equivalent to 25p every year - a new study highlights how investment in medical research can lead to improved health outcomes, as well as economic gains.
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