To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many grants for research into rheumatoid arthritis were issued by the Medical Research Council in each of the last five years. 
The spend figures on Arthritis and Rheumatism for the last five financial years, together with the number of projects in each financial year are as follows:
|Financial year||Estimated spend (£ million)||Number of projects1|
|1 Projects: this includes grants, units and fellowships|
|2 Since 1999–2000, MRC has prepared a breakdown of research expenditure into 12 disease-specific research divisions, one of these being Arthritis and Rheumatism. Before then, the breakdown was less detailed. Therefore the above figures for 1997–78 and 1998–99 are not directly comparable to the figures for the later three years. In order to produce these figures retrospectively MRC used the broader definition of the subject area which was in use at that time. Thus the higher numbers may simply reflect that change in definition.|
The data for 2002–03 is still being collated and final figures will be available in the autumn.