Government evaluates building a US-style Institute for Health Research
London - The British government is planning to restructure the national health research and to create a model similar to the US-archetype National Institutes of Health (NIH). UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown recently unveiled an initiative to establish a UK version of the NIH by combining the research activities of the UK Medical research Council (MRC) and the National Health Service (NHS), which is currently facing a restructuring to save costs, a major issue for the somewhat beleaguered NHS. The combined agency would have a budget of at least Euro1.5 billion, jointly held by the Secretaries of State for Health and Trade & Industry. Brown has appointed venture capital manager and founder of Advent Venture Partners Sir David Cooksey to lead a review to build agreement on the best institutional arrangements for the combined budget. Cooksey will be advising the government on the best design and institutional arrangements for public funding of health research in the UK, following a wide-ranging consultation with stakeholders from science and economy. “America has its groundbreaking National Institutes of Health - we will now build an agreement on the right design and institutional arrangements for a British model. I have asked Sir David Cooksey to consider the best arrangement for delivering the full spectrum of publicly-supported health research, from Nobel-winning science conducted by the MRC to the world-renowned work on Health Technology Assessment by the NHS”, said Brown. The formal consulting process is now underway.