§ 19. Rev. Martin Smyth
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to report on the departmental study on hepatitis C and its treatment. 
§ Mr. Horam
There is no single departmental study. The standing group on health technology is taking forward, with the Medical Research Council, work on the effectiveness of alpha-interferon in the early treatment of hepatitis C. The Department is working on establishing a confidential national registry of HCV infection, drawing on information on cases of transfusion infection obtained from its "look back" exercise. It will shortly be seeking research proposals on establishing the prevalence, transmission routes and natural history of HCV infection.