Requiem for UK R&D

Science minister David Willetts recently claimed that universities were responsible for picking up the slack in R&D following Pfizer’s run for the hills – in this writer’s opinion the first of many rats* to flee this sinking ship.

We need only cast our minds back a month or so to remember the government’s announcement that universities would be facing a 9.5% cut in funding in 2011-12, with a 4% cut in research funding. This makes the whole situation feel a lot like 1 step backwards and 2 steps back.

So what is the government trying to achieve?

Well, it’s a mystery to me. They claim their commitment to improving pharmaceutical research in the UK, yet the above points make this seem impossible. Add this to the push for value-based pricing and this really seems like the death of quality research in the UK.

Am I the only one with such fears?

*used only for metaphorical purposes – not pejorative!


  • Founder of the Academic Health Economists' Blog. Principal Economist at the Office of Health Economics. ORCID: 0000-0001-9470-2369


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