Following the Chancellor's announcement of the 2022 Autumn Statement, Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:
“I welcome the decision by the Chancellor and Prime Minister to ringfence and protect the science budget by maintaining the commitment to invest £20billion in research and development by 2024/25.
“In these challenging economic times, it is heartening to see that Government has listened to calls from the sector and placed medical and health research at the heart of its economic plans. An investment in biomedical and health research is crucial for health and economic growth across the whole of the UK and around the world.
“UK biomedical and health research has played, and continues to play, a critical role in the world recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and is vital in addressing further threats to our health and economic security. This is in addition to tackling urgent pressures including mental health, cancer and heart disease, and growing health inequalities.
“Medical research is an essential driver of health and a route to growth. It is key to achieving the Prime Minister’s priorities of economic stability and the UK’s global standing as a true science superpower. It is also an important catalyst for quality, innovation and improved patient care in our NHS and is responsible for economic returns to the country to the tune of 25p per pound investment, each year, forever.
“As with all areas of the economy, there are challenges ahead for biomedical and health research. Inflation will continue to put pressure on budgets in real terms, and we must protect collaborations between UK researchers and partners globally, including through Horizon Europe. Nevertheless, today's statement provides the sector with much needed reassurance, and I look forward to working with this Government to ensure that this investment delivers benefit to people and the economy.”
Nature news featured an excerpt from this quote in their coverage of the Autumn Statement, read it here: Science spared from UK budget cuts amid economic turmoil
This response follows a call to action led by the Academy of Medical Sciences signed by leading biomedical and health research institutions from the private and charitable sector. Read the full letter here with the list of signatories including Pfizer, Wellcome, BioIndustry Association, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.