Memorandum submitted by the Association
of Medical Research Charities
I have looked at our data on cancer charities
and other research charities for England and Wales. The data referred
to below does not include cancer charities based in Northern Ireland
or Scotland that are not registered with the Charity Commission
but does include the expenditure on research in Northern Ireland
and Scotland of the charities registered with the Charity Commission.
Although we hope to be able to analyse by nation the research
expenditure for AMRC members, this information is not yet available.
In my opinion, the £180 million per annum
figure provided by the Department of Health is a significant underestimate.
I would estimate that the overall figure for charitable expenditure
on cancer research in the UK by English and Welsh charities is
closer to £230-£250 million per annum. Scotland and
Northern Ireland (recognised) charities would probably add a further
£2-3 million. There remain a number of other types of charitable
body for which data is not readily available. In making my estimate
I took into account:
We have identified 250 cancer research charities.
These are charities registered with the Charity Commission whose
objects enable them to fund research and who appear to be active
either in fundraising or giving grants. The total expenditure
for this group of charities is £250 million. We do not have
details of the actual research expenditure for all of these charities
but for those we do (130) the research expenditure is £200.3
In addition to the cancer and leukaemia specific
registered charities, there are a number of other types of charities
that support cancer research, including:
Other medical research charities
such as system specific charities covering lung disease, digestive
disorders, brain, eye etc fund cancer and cancer-related projects
from time to time. There are also general medical research charities
(eg Wellcome Trust, Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust, Action Research,
Children Nationwide) that support cancer related research projects.
However, we do not have disease related research expenditure data
for these charities.
Unregistered charities such as the
Institute of Cancer Research and other university and departmental
research funds. We believe their resources available for research
are quite considerable but it is fairly difficult to identify
how "charitable" funds are spent (as distinct from the
grant income they receive).
We found 43 NHS charitable funds
that administer earmarked cancer research funds within their remit.
The total expenditure of this group of 43 charities is around
£137 million per annum but we have not been able to find
out how much is spent on cancer research. However, cancer research
funds are the most common restricted or earmarked funds within
these charities. The MRC also administers some cancer charitable
funds which may be included in MRC's accounts. (ICRF and CRC (now
Cancer Research UK) administer a number of earmarked funds but
these are reported in the charities overall expenditure figures.)
42 registered charities that are
not termed research charities but have cancer research within
their charitable objects. Their total expenditure is around £60
million but we do not know how much of this is directed to cancer
research but we know that they are occasional medical research
A number of registered "academic"
or "professional" charitable funds also have earmarked
cancer funds or funds for oncology or related specialists within.
We have not been able to identify how much they actually spend
on research. This group includes organisations such as medical
Royal Colleges, The Royal Society, professional societies and
university general charitable funds.
Overseas charities that support UK
based cancer research. UK universities receive funds from a wide
range of overseas charitable organisations some of which is spent
on cancer related research (sometimes in partnership with a UK
charity). However, published university accounts are not detailed
enough for us to be able to determine the levels of charitable
funding in any particular field.
Charities on the Charity Commission
database that have cancer research in their objects or name but
for whom no activity or expenditure information can be found.
It is worth noting that the majority of cancer
research charities have some restrictions to their beneficiary
areas, most commonly in the type of cancer research they are able
to support but very often the funding is limited in terms of the
potential beneficiaries or researchers. Occasionally the funds
are restricted for a single researcher although a limit to a particular
research team, department or unit is more common. There are also
a large number of small charities in this field: of the 250 charities
on our database, 120 of them spend less than £100,000 per
annum and 76 of these spend less than £20,000.
28 February 2002