Medical research faces 40% cuts

Medical research is facing cutbacks as a result of the recession, charities have warned. By Lauren Trisk

Three quarters of research charities are predicting that the economic downturn will have a significant impact on their work, according to a survey by the Association of Medical Research Charities. In addition, a quarter are planning to reduce their research expenditure by 10 to 40% over the coming year, the survey found.

Smaller charities, which tend to carry out important work on rarer conditions, are expected to be the worst hit.

Phillip Butcher, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said the charity’s long-term approach to investment placed it on the verge of a number of major potential advances. ‘This year we have had to reduce our research budget by 15% to balance the books,’ he said. ‘Who knows what will happen next year?’

Charities are calling on public organisations to collaborate and co-fund to make money go further.  They are also urging the government to improve the regulatory, VAT and tax environment for their research projects.

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