"Innovation alongside the ability to effectively apply knowledge and new ideas allow us to keep ahead in a global market. Sustained investment in UK research is needed to allow us to continue to tap in to some of the brightest and most innovative thinking in the world."
Dr Tony Wood, VP, Head of Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer
Cardiac and mental health: Every pound spent on research in these areas results in health benefits and inward investment worth 39 pence to the UK each and every year thereafter. Between 1985 and 2005, interventions arising from cardiovascular disease research delivered a health gain of £53 billion.
Influenza: Every 8 months, on average, a disease transfers from animals to humans and the cost to the UK of a pandemic could be as high as 2% of the total national income. Long term investment provides the necessary agility to respond including contributing to the urgent development of a vaccine for use in the UK in autumn 2009 for the H1N1 pandemic.
Quality of life: Air pollution is currently estimated to reduce the life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of 7-8 months with estimated health costs of up to £20 billion each year. Research shows that planting larch, pine and ash can help remove tiny polluting particles from the air of towns and cities. But other trees, like willow, oak and poplar, could exacerbate pollution.
Immune system: Research aimed at understanding the fundamental properties of the immune system resulted in new antibody technology, used in drugs such as Herceptin, which has created an international market worth £12 billion in 2006, forecast to grow to over £26 billion by 2012.
Independent living support: Innovative smart sensing systems, developed through research, will significantly reduce the £17 billion cost to the UK of dementia by supporting independent living
Happier, healthier UK: Research on happiness and wellbeing has influenced policy innovations such as the New Deal Programme, the Working Families Tax Credit Scheme and the European Union’s employment policy.
Smoking: UK research, started in the 1950s, showed the harmful effects of smoking. Further research on passive smoking was instrumental in bringing forward legislation that led to the smoking ban in 2007.
Malnutrition: Research using technology to change food production and delivery to older patients, will help reduce the costs to the NHS, estimated to exceed £7.3 billion per year, of the 60% of older people at risk of malnutrition whilst in hospital.