Blackmores chairman makes $10m 'no strings' donation to fund supplements research

Marcus Blackmore, left, donated the cash to Western Sydney University.

Vitamin boss Marcus Blackmore has given $10m to the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NCIM) at Western Sydney University in a 'no strings' donation to undertake research into complementary medicine.

The sum, believed to be the single largest donation to complementary medicine research in Australia, is being donated by The Blackmore Foundation, the personal philanthropic trust of Marcus and Caroline Blackmore

Marcus Blackmore said: “As industry leaders, we believe it is our responsibility to invest in complementary medicine research and to support innovation in this field. NICM is a world-class research facility, and we are very proud to provide this untied donation to help advance science and innovation in integrative and complementary medicine.”  

NICM Director Professor Alan Bensoussan said the money would support new PhD scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships, support for international visiting scholars, as well as advancing research translation.

“This very welcome gift will further the development of NICM as a world-class integrative and complementary medicine research facility, and expand our research and clinical trials, and education and training,” he said.

Potential benefits

The donation has also been welcomed by trade body Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA). Its CEO Carl Gibson said it was commendable to see Blackmores donating untied funds to support research and innovation.

“We have a well-developed complementary medicine research sector; however, it is insufficiently supported given that complementary medicines are an important, and often underestimated, part of the Australian health system. A very large proportion of the Australian population, approximately 70%, use complementary medicines.

“Given the potential benefits of complementary medicine as a tool towards health promotion and disease prevention, complementary medicine research needs to be a priority area for research funding. In this context, the importance of research support, such as this gift from Blackmores, cannot be stressed enough."

CMA said for every dollar invested in Australian health research and development, $2.17 in health benefits is returned.

“An innovative complementary medicines industry is dependent on research to support quality, safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness. This donation from Blackmores highlights the willingness of industry to support research to continue to grow the body of evidence for complementary medicines and contribute to a healthy Australia," added Gibson.

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