At the moment there are 700,000 dementia sufferers and that figure is expected to double within the next generation.
But the govenrment still spends just 13 per cent of the budget that it does on cancer research. That\’s the equivalent of £46 per person with dementia compared with £124 per person with cancer.
Britain is also in danger of losing its world leading position in research into the disease as Germany, France and the USA now spend considerably more on research than we do in this country.
There are three sets of reasons why we perhaps should not listen to these people insisting that more tax money must be spent upon them and their area of research (over and above the fact that the NHS already refuses to fund certain treatments which delay the onset of dementia).
1) There\’s no direct relationship between how much you spend and what you achieve. Simply \”spending more on research\” doesn\’t get you anywhere. What research are you going to spend money on?
2) Why the insistence upon government money being spent? Yes, I know that basic research is a public good and therefore justifiably (or it can be justified rather) is subsidised from public funds but this is a pittance as compared to what the drug companies are spending. Everyone knows that there is an absolute fortune to be made by developing the pills (and it is almost certainly going to be pills that become the solution, not diet or something not patentable) which will prevent dementia. Big Pharma is, I submit, already spending billions in this area.
3) So what if other countries are doing more research than the UK is? If they find a cure then we simply buy it from them. Called trade.