New findings show amplified value of a medical research dollar

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A new report released today by the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), shows that for every dollar invested in Australian medical research, we gain a $3.90 return to the economy.

Releasing the report at an event in Parliament House this morning, AAMRI President Professor Tony Cunningham AO said: “A near $4-to-$1 is an extraordinary return on investment. As a sector, we know now that the return on investment for medical research is far higher than the level needed to secure government funding for just about any other investment in infrastructure."

The new study, conducted by KPMG, has identified that the medical research sector – including the downstream medical technology and pharmaceutical sector – employs more than 110,000 people.

It also found that the health gains that flow from medical research result in a larger and more productive national workforce too, preventing injury and illness, or if they do occur getting people back to work faster.

Professor Tony Cunningham said: “Investing in medical research must remain a top priority for Australia – not only for the health and wellbeing of all Australians, but also to help build a strong economy through employment, knowledge creation and through our burgeoning medical technology and pharmaceutical export industry.”

The findings from KMPG show that today’s economy, as measured by GDP, is $2.6 billion larger as a result of historical medical research. Significantly, welfare, a measure of how well off we are as a population, is $1.5 billion higher that it would have been in the absence of medical research.

The full report can be viewed online.