Labour MP for Blaydon, David Anderson, asked the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – whose Department runs the Government's science budget – whether he would provide funding for research on the relationship between retrovirals and ME.
In a written answer on October 21, David Willetts (Minister of State for Universities and Science) replied:
The Medical Research Council (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. Such decisions are rightly left to those best placed to evaluate the scientific efficacy of proposed research.
The MRC is committed to supporting scientific research into all aspects of ME, including studies into the biological basis of the condition and the evaluation of treatments. In 2009/10, the MRC spent £109,000 on research directly relating to ME.