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Investing in cancer research boosts economy as well as health

Each pound invested in cancer research generates a continuous stream of benefits equal to earning 40 pence a year thereafter, according to a report published today in BMC Medicine.

The report – commissioned by the Academy of Medical Sciences, Cancer Research UK, the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust, and published in BMC Medicine today (Monday) – is the first ever estimate of the economic gains from investment in publicly-funded UK cancer research.

The study, led by researchers from Brunel University, Kings College London and RAND Europe, looked at the economic returns from cancer research in the UK between 1970 and 2009.

The study is being launched today at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Medical Research’s Summer Reception where Universities and Science Minister Rt Hon David Willetts MP and leading figures from the medical research community will highlight the health and economic returns that have been delivered by Government and charitable investment into medical research.

Professor Sir John Tooke PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “In difficult financial times, it is vital to show the monetary return of research alongside the health benefits for patients and their families. This study helps make the case for sustained investment in medical research. It demonstrates that past support for cancer research not only helps create a healthier society but aids the health of the economy now and into the future. Continued investment in the people who will make the advances in cancer care possible and the facilities and technologies that support them is vital if we are to continue to reap that double benefit.”

Full press release available on the Cancer Research UK website.

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