Estimating the Economic Returns on Cancer Research in the UK – RAND – 2014
“In recent years, researchers and funders have aimed to better understand the range of impacts arising from public and charitable funding for medical research — including the resulting economic benefits. Such information provides accountability to taxpayers and charity donors, and increases our understanding of how research effectively translates to health gains. Financial returns may not be a key driver in research decisions, but the demands on public funding are substantial and it is therefore important to evaluate investment in research.
While it is easy to cite examples of breakthroughs that have led to substantial patient benefits or improvements in quality of life, it is more difficult to assess the nature and extent of the economic returns arising from investment in a whole body of medical research, some of which may inevitably be less fruitful.
This study, led by RAND Europe, the Health Economics Research Group (HERG) at Brunel University and King’s College London, aimed to estimate the returns generated by public and charitable investment in UK research. The work focuses on cancer and followed a ground-breaking study published in 2008, which yielded the first quantitative assessment of the economic benefit of biomedical and health science in the UK. The original report focused on the returns generated from investment in cardiovascular disease research, also testing the methodology to a more limited extent on mental health research.”