Parliamentary Question: MRC spending on research into ME in last 10 years

December 3, 2010

Figures for the Medical Research Council's research spend on ME over the last 10 years were released in a written answer by Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts yesterday.

He was answering a written question tabled by Ian Swales (Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar). The MP had asked the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of expenditure from the public purse on biomedical research relating to myalgic encephalomyelitis in each of the last 10 years.

Mr Willetts replied:

The Medical Research Council is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The selection of projects for funding by MRC is determined through peer review.

“Biomedical” is not a category the MRC would normally use to classify research in its portfolio. In the last 10 years, MRC expenditure on research relating to CFS/ME was as follows:

2000/01 0
2001/02 0
2002/03 0
2003/04 141,000
2004/05 559,000
2005/06 752,000
2006/07 800,000
2007/08 1.35 million
2008/09 728,000
2009/10 109,000

Projects included within these figures are as follows:

Professor R K Morriss, university of Liverpool-Exploratory RCT of training general practitioners to manage patients with persistent medically unexplained symptoms (MUS).

Professor P White, Queen Mary College, London-The PACE trial; A RCT of CBT, graded exercise, adaptive pacing and usual medical care for the chronic fatigue syndrome.

Dr A Wearden, university of Manchester-Randomised controlled trial of nurse-led self-help treatment for primary care patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Dr K Bhui, Queen Mary College, London-Chronic Fatigue and Ethnicity.

Professor F H Creed, university of Manchester-The feasibility of a population-based study of CFS, IBS and CWP.

Dr C Clark, Queen Mary College, London-General and specific risk markers and preventive factors for chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndromes.

Further information about most of these projects can be found on the MRC's online research portfolio at:

Mr Swales has already tabled an Early Day Motion on ME Research which so far has the support of 78 other MPs. A daily update can be found by clicking HERE.

1 thought on “Parliamentary Question: MRC spending on research into ME in last 10 years”

  1. If you add up the figures the MRC has spent less than £2 on every patient with ME every year for the last ten years. And none of it on biomedical research.

    Here is another one of the projects they funded:
    Training speech therapists in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to treat Medically Unexplained Dysphonia: A Trial Platform
    £258,960, 01 Aug 2006 -31 Jul 2010

    Have a look at this list

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