HC Deb 14 May 2003 vol 405 cc314-5W
Mr. Paterson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on evaluating integrated medicines in each of the past five years. [111666]

Ms Blears

The term 'integrated medicine' is usually applied generically to the use of complementary therapies to supplement orthodox treatment. At the present time, no projects have been commissioned with a specific remit to assess the interaction between a complementary therapy and an orthodox treatment. Questions of this sort can best be considered once the efficacy of individual complementary therapies, acting on their own, is better understood.

Between 1999 and 2001, the Medical Research Council spent an estimated 520,000 on such research. The Department of Health has currently awarded two grants at a total value of £800,000. On 21 April, I announced post-doctoral awards in complementary medicine research, totalling a further £1.3 million.