HL Deb 31 January 1994 vol 551 cc84-5WA
Lord Sudeley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the expenditure in the United Kingdom from public funds, whether through the Medical Research Council, the Department of Health or through other agencies, upon basic scientific, clinical or other research into respectively:

  1. (i) breast cancer
  2. (ii) cancer of the prostate
  3. (iii) AIDS
for the years 1991, 1992 and 1993 respectively (or for the last three years for which figures are available).

Baroness Cumberlege

Medical Research Council expenditure directly on research into breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS for the last three financial years is as follows.

1990–91 1991–92 1992–93
Breast Cancer 2,700 1,600 3,100
Prostate Cancer 300 300 300
AIDS 13,300 15,900 15,300
Department of Health
Breast Cancer 381 526 607
Prostate Cancer 0 0 0
AIDS 593 786 789
The Chief Scientist's Office of the Scottish Office Home and Health Department
Breast Cancer 139 13 84
Prostate Cancer 0 0 0
AIDS 136 144 288
Northern Ireland Office, Department of Health and Social Services
Breast Cancer n/a n/a n/a

1990–91 1991–92 1992–93
Prostate Cancer n/a n/a n/a
AIDS-0–8–11 0 8 11
n/a=Figures not available.


Welsh Office figures are included in those for the Department of Health. These figures do not include NHS service support for cancer research including, for example, the Royal Marsden Special Health Authority, which has spent some £6 million per annum on cancer research in recent years.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is the main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research into cancer. Charities —chiefly Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), Cancer Research Campaign (CRC), and Marie Curie —have for a long time played a major role. In 1991–92, the latest year for which figures are available, ICRF expenditure on cancer research was £58.2 million and CRC £44 million. Research is co-ordinated through the United Kingdom Co-ordinating Committee on Cancer Research (UKCCCR). The UKCCCR is funded by cancer charities and incorporates all major cancer research funding bodies, including the MRC. It is estimated that the pharmaceutical industry has spent about £300 million per annum on cancer related research in recent years.

The UKCCCR was founded in 1970 (then named CCCR). The balance of cost spending on cancer and AIDS reflects the seriousness of this new threat to public health, for which there is no early prospect of a vaccine or cure, and takes into account the other research funders involved.