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Medical research charities need our help – support is needed to continue funding life-saving research and improving lives

At a time where medical research is most needed, charities are facing unprecedented falls in income due to COVID-19. Funding from the Government is urgently needed to support charities to continue life-saving research and improve lives.

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) is a membership organisation of the leading medical research charities in the UK. Their membership is made up of 152 charities large and small that focus on a wide variety of diseases and conditions, ranging from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, to Tourettes Action and The Lullaby Trust.

AMRC’s members focus their research efforts on early-stage scientific discovery that other participants in our health system, such as pharmaceutical companies and the NHS, aren’t able to address effectively. This early-stage research is the essential first step to discovering new treatments, as this is where we make initial discoveries that may later evolve into new therapies.

What is the current situation?

Medical research charities in the UK play a vital role in providing hope for millions of patients, young and old, and their families who live with challenging and life-threatening diseases for which there are limited or no treatments available today.

However, COVID-19 has had an immediate and devastating impact on medical research charities, resulting in an estimated 41% decrease in their research spend over the next year. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Research stopped or paused today won’t be able to jump start when the crisis is over.

What does this funding drop mean?

Charities have been left with no option but to make drastic cuts to their research funding as their income drops. Funding which could have saved or improved lives.

This means that we aren’t able to fund research today that is vital to discovering the treatments of tomorrow. This lack of research now will slow progress and have a knock-on effect in future years, with the issues now estimated to set research progress back by a decade.

If we don’t address this now we are storing up problems for years to come. Every day counts for patients living in hope of new treatments, and we can’t afford to lose time and especially not the decade predicted.

What next for medical research charities?

The AMRC has launched a campaign to urgently call for the Government to commit funding to help protect the future of charity research through the pandemic and as we recover. This is where we can all help.

How can you help?

1. Please sign our letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson today to urge the Government to provide vital funding now to protect medical research and patients. Time is of the essence. By investing in charity-funded research, Government can help medical research charities deliver a better future for countless people across the UK.

2. Share it out with your network – on social media and directly with friends, family and colleagues. Please see the pre-drafted tweet below:

#COVID19 has put charity-funded #ResearchAtRisk. They need our help calling on @BorisJohnson to help protect it. Just click on this link and fill in your email address to send a ready-drafted email to the Prime Minister today: https://bit.ly/2JMUq57

3. Consider how your organisation can support – get in touch with sophie.thompson@auroracomms.com if you have any questions or would like to offer your support.

Aurora is pleased to be providing pro bono communications support to the AMRC – we hope that through this work we can make a lasting difference to a many patients across the UK. You can read more about our collaboration here.

19th January 2021

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