Is AMD underfunded? Leading charity calls for more commitment to research

Sixty of the UK’s foremost eye health researchers have called for more funding into macular degeneration, describing the situation as ‘urgent’.

macular society reportA recently published report by the Macular Society states there is a duty on publicly funded bodies to put more resources into AMD research, which is forecast to affect 1.3 million people in the UK by 2050.

Some key facts about AMD:

  • It is forecast to affect 1.3million people in the UK by 2050
  • The consequences of AMD cost the UK £1.6bn annually
  • It is the third most common cause of sight loss globally
  • It is the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world
  • Only one firth of one percent of public research funding was for AMD in 2014

The condition, which is becoming more prevalent due to our longer life expectancies, represents a huge cost in care as well as a societal burden but doesn’t receive the same funding proportionate to its impact.

“ is increasingly recognised as a colossal healthcare challenge and, despite major advances in genetics, epidemiology, pathogenesis and imaging, we still don’t understand how to prevent early disease progressing to blinding disease in the form of choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) or geographic atrophy.” 

Phil Luthert, Director of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

The report, Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Collaborating to Find a Cure, has received over 60 official endorsements from many eye health professionals in the UK – including UCL, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and Vision 2020. The challenges that now lie ahead are bringing researchers together, securing a new funding model to support research and adopting a unified approach to it.

In the coming months and years the Macular Society and their partners will continue to promote the need for research and begin to campaign for changes in the funding for AMD research. As a condition that will have double the number of sufferers by 2050, it is a deeply urgent cause.

Find out more about the macular society or read our AMD whitepaper.

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