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Lung Diseases: Research

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what resources have been committed by his Department for research into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (165327)

The Department funds national health service research and development through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Institute’s research programmes support high quality research of relevance and in areas of high priority to patients and the NHS. That research currently includes three trials on aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) funded by the Health Technology Assessment programme at a total cost of £2 million, and a £237,000 COPD project in the Research for Patient Benefit programme. Respiratory disease has additionally been identified as a research priority in the call for proposals for new Biomedical Research Units the NIHR published in July 2007.

The Department’s Policy Research Programme has commissioned a systematic review to support the development of the COPD National Service Framework.

Over the last 10 years, the main part of the Department’s total expenditure on health research has been devolved to and managed by NHS organisations. Details of individual NHS supported research projects including a substantial number concerned with COPD are available on the national research register at:

www.nrr.nhs.uk.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government supports medical and clinical research. The MRC’s current commitment to COPD research includes some ten separate research projects; funding for a new MRC Centre for COPD Research at Imperial College, London; and support for a long-term research programme at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre on genetic and early environmental determinants of chronic obstructive lung disease.