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Volume 129: debated on Friday 18 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received any representations from the Narcolepsy Association (UK) concerning changes in drug availability; and if he will make a statement.

We have no record of any representations from the Narcolepsy Association (UK) about the availability of drugs required by people who suffer from narcolepsy. Amphetamines are normally prescribed for narcolepsy, and although these are controlled drugs, they continue to be available on NHS prescription from general practitioners.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those research projects dealing with the problem of narcolepsy, stating in which regional health authorities these projects are being undertaken and the funding arrangements for each project.

Narcolepsy is an irresistible tendency to go to sleep. It is more usual to speak of the narcolepsies, rather than of narcolepsy, for sudden, repetitive attacks of sleep occurring in the day-time arise in diverse clinical conditions.It is understood the United Kingdom incidence of narcolepsy is very small.The Department is not at present directly supporting any research into the problem of narcolepsy. I am not aware that any is being carried out by a regional health authority under the locally organised research scheme.I understand there is a project on narcolepsy being carried out by the University of Manchester. Details of this and its funding are not held centrally.