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A study including researchers in Nuffield Department of Population Health has found that government investment in healthcare research is good for the wider economy.

Government investment in health research benefits wider economy study finds

The research, supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), found that the return on investment in the Oxford BRC was 46% in terms of income and job creation alone.

The paper, ‘A macroeconomic assessment of the impact of medical research expenditure: A case study of NIHR Biomedical Research Centres’, was published in the Plos One journal.

There are a number of methodologies for measuring research impact; one that has been widely used is the Payback Framework, which aims to capture the full life-cycle of biomedical research, from the initial concept to the eventual health, economic and societal benefits.

However, finding the data this framework requires over lengthy time lags is a major difficulty and, conscious that health benefits may not be realised for several years, the Oxford researchers decided to focus on the shorter-term economic returns by using an input-output analysis framework, which is often used to assess the impact of major government spending projects on other aspects of regional economies.

Read more (NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre website)