Friday, July 29, 2011

0% (yes, ZERO) of ME research is allocated to disease aetiology

by Chris Douglas on Friday, July 29, 2011 at 2:30pm
In 2006, the UK Clinical Research Collaboration published a report called ‘UK Health Research Analysis (2006)’.

This report confirmed that ~68% of research funds across all illnesses (as spent by the 11 largest Government and charity funders of health research) was allocated to disease aetiology (causation) and underpinning.

In contrast, between 2000-10, the Medical Research Council allocated 0% (yes, ZERO) of ME research funds (over £4m in total) to aetiology and underpinning.

Instead, over 80% of these funds were allocated to testing psychiatric and self-help therapies.

Psychiatric therapies 62.2%
Self help therapies 19%
GP training on ‘medically unexplained symptoms’ 8.2%
Risk markers (shared with IBS) 4.5%
Ethnicity prevalence 3.5%
Population study (shared with IBS and CWP) 2.6%

If cancer patients (a) saw the MRC spend just £4m on their illness over ten years and (b) saw 80% of that allocated to psychiatric research and none of it to aetiology, wouldn’t they be a bit cross too ?

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