(2) what estimate he has made of the number of people in England who had been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis broken down by (a) strategic health authority and (b) primary care trust area in the most recent year for which figures are available.
The Department published the Musculoskeletal Framework in July 2006 in which we estimated that about 200,000 people in the United Kingdom were living with ankylosing spondylitis. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have estimated a prevalence of 0.15 per cent. and an annual incidence of 6.9 per 100,000 population. A more detailed breakdown of these figures has not been produced.
The Department has received recent representations on the cost of providing treatment for those with ankylosing spondylitis and the availability of drugs, especially the anti-tumour necrosis factor drugs (anti-TNF).