AMRC predicts medical research charities will lose 38 percent of income

A recent survey by the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) has found that members – including Muscular Dystrophy UK – will experience an average loss of 38 percent in income because of the coronavirus.

As well as campaigning for access to healthcare and treatment and providing direct support to people living with muscle-wasting conditions and their families, we fund research to drive the development of effective treatments and cures for muscle-wasting and associated conditions.

But like many other medical research charities since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a significant reduction in our income.

What does the AMRC say?

The AMRC estimates there will be a £310m shortfall in UK medical research spend over the next year. That's 41 percent less investment than had been planned across the sector.

It also says it could take four-and-a-half years for medical research spending to recover to normal levels.

In 2019 medical research charities invested £1.9bn in medical research in the UK – half of publicly funded medical research nationally. We’re proud to have played a part in that.

How is Muscular Dystrophy UK affected?

Due to the loss of fundraising income, we have had to adapt how we work and adapt quickly. In April we made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Grant Round. We had to do this to help protect as much of our ongoing research as possible.

We remain committed to supporting research, and with your help can rebuild our research portfolio. We hope to be able to hold a grant round again next year, which we anticipate will feature a focused call for short-term grants. We will be finalising the plans over the coming months, and will keep our supporters updated.

Dr Kate Adcock, Director of Research and Innovation, says: 

We know how important research is for people living with muscle-wasting conditions and, with your help, we are working hard to ensure that UK research and researchers remain global leaders in this field today and in the future.

As always, we look to the community of people with lived experience of muscle-wasting conditions to help us. Both our Lay Research Panel and our Medical Research Committee guide the decisions we make about what we fund, and this will continue to be the case.

What else is happening?

The AMRC's research comes as a piece in the Evening Standard highlights that charities in London are set to lose a combined £4bn to coronavirus.

For us, that means a £2.8m shortfall in income. As a result we are having to make changes to focus on our core objectives, which you can read about here.

We are continuing to support people with muscle-wasting conditions during this time, though. Our helpline remains open Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm, and we are regularly updating our coronavirus guidance. We have also partnered with Kinesthetica Coaching to offer a free wellbeing coaching service.


  • By donating to our urgent appeal, you can help us to continue support and fund research into finding treatments and cures for muscle-wasting conditions. You can donate here.