Friday, January 21, 2011

Will the Secretary of State for Health commission biomedical ME/CFS research?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Research
Written answers and statements, 18 January 2011

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East, Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission research into the biomedical causes of myalgic encephalomyelitis.

David Willetts (Minister of State (Universities and Science), Business, Innovation and Skills; Havant, Conservative)
I have been asked to reply.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The MRC is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. In keeping with the Haldane principle, prioritisation of an individual Research Council's spending within its allocation is not a decision for Ministers.

The MRC supports research into all aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), and welcomes high-quality research applications in this area. The MRC does not normally commission research but supports high-quality investigator led proposals submitted in open competition, the selection of projects for funding is determined through peer review.

An expert group on CFS/ME established by the MRC has worked with experts in the field of CFS/ME and research leaders in aligned areas to identify and prioritise research topics where the MRC might target efforts to encourage and support high-quality proposals. The MRC is now preparing to take forward these recommendations.

Further information on research supported by the MRC and about the work of the group, including the recommendations for research topics and priorities can be found at:


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