HC Deb 13 June 2003 vol 406 c1135W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much public money was spent on research into(a) cystic fibrosis and (b) gene therapy in each of the last five years. [116929]

Ms Blears

The main Government agency for research into the causes of and treatments for disease is the Medical Research Council (MRC) which receives its funding from the Department for Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology. Since 1997–98 MRC expenditure on cystic fibrosis has been as follows:

Expenditure on Cystic Fibrosis
£ millions
1997–98 1.8
1998–99 1.9
1999–2000 1.8
2000–01 1.5
2001–02 1.25

The Department of Health funds the national health service research and development programme, which aims to identify NHS needs for research and to commission research to meet those needs. Commissioning is undertaken through national programmes of research such as the health technology assessment (HTA) programme. There have been two recent projects on cystic fibrosis, "Information needs for health planning; screening for cystic fibrosis" and "A comparative study of hypertonic saline, daily and alternate day rhDNase in cystic fibrosis". The cost of these projects totalled £177,000.