Memorandum submitted by the Imperial Cancer
1.1 Cancer is a major UK public health problem
with more than one third of all people developing the disease
in their lifetime. Over 150,000 people in the UK die with cancer
each year, with over a quarter of a million people being diagnosed.
Advances in the prevention and treatment of cancer are required
to improve patient care and the health of the nation. Imperial
Cancer shares the Government's ambition to meet the "Saving
Lives: Our Healthier Nation" targets and believes that in
the long term these can be built upon by the pursuit of high-quality
1.2 The Imperial Cancer Research Fund is
the largest independent cancer research organisation in Europe,
spending over £64 million annually on research. It provides
long-term support for carrying out interdisciplinary cancer research
of an international standard in its own laboratories and in clinical
units based in hospitals. The integration of all our research
activities into what is effectively a virtual national cancer
research network is at the core of Imperial Cancer's research
strategy. By sharing and promoting its findings Imperial Cancer
contributes greatly to work in other laboratories and hospitals
1.3 The breadth of support for cancer research
in this country is very wide. Imperial Cancer alone has over 750,000
supporters, volunteers and people who take part in events on whom
we rely upon so very much to survive. Across cancer research charities
in this country as a whole, we estimate that approaching two million
people participate in some way in helping to fund cancer research.
1.4 Cancer research taking place in the
UK is recognised to be of a very high standard. Imperial Cancer
always strives to conduct research of the absolutely highest quality,
as only this approach will continue to drive us forward to finding
new and innovative answers to cancer as quickly and efficiently
1.5 The recent House of Commons Select Committee
on Science and Technology Sixth Report "Cancer ResearchA
Fresh Look" recommended that at least a further £200
million is needed year on year, if we are to make a significant
impact on the cancer problem.
2.1 Imperial Cancer wishes to highlight
the huge mismatch between where the public thinks money raised
by the National Lottery for good causes is going and where it
2.2 Imperial Cancer is concerned with the
extremely small level of funding that cancer research receives
from the National Lottery (less than five pence in every £100).
Imperial Cancer believes the National Lottery has completely failed
to meet the public's funding priorities.
2.3 The National Lottery would gain credibility
by reflecting people's wishes much more closely of where Lottery
money is applied. We believe that a substantial commitment should
be made to funding medical and cancer research through the National
Lottery, as an additional "good cause" in its own right.
2.4 Cancer research enjoys a wide breadth
of support and participation by the public in the UK and it ranks
as the single most important issue when the public are asked what
concerns them the most.
2.5 Palliative care is well addressed via
the New Opportunities Fund; no similar money is available to cancer
2.6 The Government spent £112.3 million
on cancer research in 1998-99, compared to over £160 million
that was invested by cancer research charities. First-class cancer
research needs the security of consistent long term funding. The
Government's very recent announcement regarding an extra £20
million over the next three years towards cancer research is very
welcome but much more investment is needed if the public's expectations
on the future incidence and cure rates are to be met.
3.1 We believe that the National Lottery
should match much more closely the public expectations of where
Lottery money should go. For the National Lottery to retain its
credibility, the public must have greater faith that their funding
of the Lottery meets with their aspirations. The public should
also be able to recognise far more clearly and transparently how
much of the Lottery funds are going towards cancer and medical
3.2 We believe that this Government should
establish a separate new Lottery fund specifically for medical
research, to be alongside the NLCB, Arts, Sports, Heritage and
New Opportunities Fund (NOF). A combination of constraints has
meant that the NLCB, along with NOF, have been unable or unwilling
to meet the needs of medical research charities. Substantial additional
investment in high-quality research is urgently needed so that
the Government along with its charitable and commercial partners
may make a significant impact on the number of people who die
from a range of devastating diseases each year, including cancer.
4.1 Public Image of the National Lottery
4.1.1 In September 2000, Imperial Cancer
commissioned ICM to determine the public's perception of how much
National Lottery funding goes towards cancer research and their
view on how much should.
4.1.2 The survey found that when asked to
estimate out of every £100 raised so far for good causes,
how much they thought was going to cancer research charities,
the majority suggested an average amount of at least £12.
The actual figure that goes towards cancer research is in fact
less than five pence in every £100. This general misperception
means that the credibility of the Lottery is at stake. The public
believes that cancer research charities such as Imperial Cancer,
are receiving a great deal more Lottery money than they actually
4.1.3 Almost 90 per cent of those questioned
though that "too little" Lottery money was going to
cancer research and of these 75 per cent thought that "far
too little" was going to cancer research.
4.1.4 When the same survey asked the public
how much Lottery money they would like to see going to cancer
research charities, the average answer was over £27 out of
every £100. 28 per cent answered £40 or more. The current
actual figure is less than five pence in every £100.
4.2 GOOD CAUSES
4.2.1 Over £8.8 billion has been raised
so far for the good causes, £16.3 million to medical research
in general (0.19 per cent) and within this only £4.4 million
to cancer research (0.05 per cent).
4.2.2 Since the inception of the National
Lottery in 1993, the only good causes to have funded cancer or
medical research is the National Lottery Charities Board (NLCB).
All the remaining good causes do not support medical research.
4.2.3 The NLCB receives almost 17 per cent
of good cause money. To date it has awarded nearly £1.5 billion.
Cancer research has received just £4.4 million of this ,
which works out to be around 30 pence in every £100 of NLCB
4.2.4 For the last three years, Imperial
Cancer has commissioned the Future Foundation to undertake regular
surveys to establish which types of cause have the biggest appeal
to the public. Cancer research continually ranks (scoring 20 per
cent) as the single most important issue when the public are asked
what concerns them the most, with child welfare just a short way
behind at 18 per cent and protection of animals for example at
8 per cent.
4.2.5 Imperial Cancer has welcomed the opportunity
provided by this inquiry to make comments and recommendations
about the operation of the National Lottery. We would welcome
the opportunity to answer any questions the Committee may have