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Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research is planned in the next 12 months to ascertain the likely incidence in the UK of all types of chronic hepatitis over the next decade; and if she will make a statement. (129016)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) funds a portfolio of basic and underpinning research relating to the various types of hepatitis, which may lead to further understanding of the condition. Research specifically related to the likely incidence of all types of chronic hepatitis over the next decade in this country is not currently being funded.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is carrying out ongoing work to estimate the future burden of hepatitis C-related disease in this country. The HPA and the British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL) are collaborating on a study of end-stage liver disease in patients who are infected with hepatitis B or C and on a pilot survey of the number of people infected with hepatitis C who are treated and treatment outcome in this country.