The Macular Society has published a landmark report, funded by The Clothworkers’ Foundation, calling for a dramatic increase in the funding of research into age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The report shows that less than one fifth of one percent of UK medical research funding is spent on AMD even though it is by far the biggest cause of sight loss, affecting almost as many people as dementia.
Our report asks people with AMD, researchers in the field and other sight loss charities to join our campaign to raise awareness of this lack of funding. We set out the harsh facts about the growing number of people affected by AMD and the huge impact it has on people with the condition, on their families and on public spending.
The report is the result of extensive expert collaboration and has already received official endorsement from many of the UK’s leading institutions and ophthalmologists and researchers including The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.
Professor Carrie MacEwen, president, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists said: “AMD is the commonest cause of blindness in the developed world and the numbers of patients affected will continue to grow. It must be considered a research priority in order to identify ways to prevent the development of AMD and to treat those affected as early and as effectively as possible. Loss of vision is associated with falls, depression and loss of independence – especially in the older age groups.”
It is hoped the report will encourage more charities to consider contributing some of their resources to medical research.
Mercy Jeyasingham, chief executive of VISION 2020 UK, said: “We fully support the Macular Society’s report. The increase in incidence of AMD is an important public health issue. It is vital that we increase funding for medical research into eye health to help us improve our understanding of eye diseases, which have a devastating impact on the lives of people affected.”
The report recommends bringing researchers together in a unified approach to AMD research, and securing a new funding model to support this research.
To download the report in accessible pdf or audio format and infographic please enter your email address below.