Written answers: 3 July 2007

Hansard 3 July 2007

Written answers: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Research

Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what bio-medical research (a) his Department and (b) the Medical Research Council has funded into the cause or causes of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [146602]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 29 June 2007]: Over the last 10 years, the main part of the Department’s total expenditure on health research has been devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. That devolved funding is supporting a body of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) research. Details are available on the national research register at: www.dh.gov.uk/research

The new National Institute for Health Research South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Institute of Psychiatry Biomedical Research Centre, funded by the Department, will undertake research on CFS/ME.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support biomedical research. During the period in question, MRC has funded seven research studies on CFS/ME, five of which are of direct relevance to the condition, and two related to it but of lesser relevance.

Although not currently funding any research specifically related to the biological effects of CFS/ME, the MRC remains committed to funding scientific research into all aspects of CFS/ME including evaluations of other treatments and studies into the

3 July 2007 : Column 1010W

biological basis of the condition. The MRC always welcome high-quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality.

2007 Parliamentary copyright

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