§ Dr. Lynne Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans she has to fund research into the cause, detection and treatment of obstetric cholestasis and its epidemiology;
(2) what is the current incidence of obstetric cholestasis;
(3) if she has sought evidence from abroad as to any link between still births and obstetric cholestasis;
(4) what the Government are doing to ensure that health professionals know about obstetric cholestasis.
§ Mr. Sackville
The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant-in-aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The council is always willing to consider for support soundly based new scientific proposals in competition with other applications.
As to the incidence of obstetric cholestasis, the medical literature suggests that one pregnancy in 1,000 is affected by the condition. Some of the material on this subject has come from abroad, in particular the United States.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave her on 22 June at column 198 for information for health professionals.