Published: 14 January 2021

Charity-funded research is desperately needed. It gives us hope. It gives us better quality of life. It gives us more time with our loved ones. It’s impossible to put a value on this.

Our charities fund research shaped by people living with the diseases, ensuring it delivers the changes that matter most to them. They don’t fund based on making a profit but on understanding the disease and the people living with it. Charities take the necessary risks to make vital breakthroughs. 

Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on medical research charities. The pandemic has disrupted clinical trials, put an end to mass fundraising events, closed charity shops and has forced charities to make heart-breaking decisions to cut funding for research. Sadly, it’s you, me, and our loved ones, ‘the patients’, who will pay the price.

These cuts will prevent charities from funding new clinical trials, meaning thousands of patients will be unable to access life-changing treatments. Many research projects will be paused or cancelled, delaying medical advances that are crucial to saving and improving countless lives. Thousands of scientists will lose their jobs and likely leave research, reducing the UK’s capacity to tackle big health challenges like COVID-19.

Some may think it won't make a difference, that pharmaceutical companies can fill the gap, but many of the world’s most successful treatments were discovered by researchers funded by medical research charities in the UK. Charities are the lifeblood of medical research in the UK. Collectively they have saved millions of lives. With backing from Government they can save millions more.

But we need action now.

Since June last year, the Association of Medical Research Charities and its 153 charities have been campaigning for Government to step in and provide financial support.

We’ve sent letters to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (signed by over 50 cross-party Members of Parliament), the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Prime Minister (signed by over 30 pharmaceutical and technology companies).

More than 80 MPs and Lords have advocated for support for medical research charities, including holding a debate in the House of Commons and raising their concerns during Prime Minister's Questions. We’ve shared detailed briefings, proposed a co-investment scheme, and attended numerous meetings with Government.

Despite acknowledging the vital role medical research charities play, Government are yet to provide funding for charity-funded research.

That’s why we’re asking for your help. Please send a pre-drafted email to the Prime Minister to urge Government to provide financial support now to protect medical research and patients. Time is of the essence.

We have images and text that you can share on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help spread the message about the #ResearchAtRisk campaign. You can access them here.

If you have any queries about this campaign please contact our communications manager, Leonora.