More money for medical research

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7553.1285 (Published 01 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1285
  1. Alistair McGuire (A.J.Mcguire@lse.ac.uk), professor,
  2. Maria Raikou, research fellow
  1. LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE
  2. LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE

    Returns from increased funding need to be evaluated

    The United Kingdom has a remarkable record in research and development. In the past 50 years the UK has won 46 Nobel prizes. The health sector has long been part of this heritage with medical research and development (R&D) encapsulating not only basic science but pioneering work in clinical trials, as well as wider work on more general health services research. That it has been undertaken and maintained under relatively low levels of resource is commendable. The UK spends approximately 1.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) on research—£17.5bn (€25.5bn; $32bn) in 2001.1 This spending has been below the average spend of our competitor nations (on average 2.1% of GDP). As in healthcare expenditure generally, where the pledge is to increase UK expenditure to levels comparable with the average in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), so with R&D, for the government is committed to increase funding for R&D …

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