§ Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of recent research into Inflammatory Bowel Disease; what plans he has to act on the findings; and if he will make a statement. 519W
§ Mr. Lammy
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance on infliximab for Crohn's Disease in May 2002. The Department has not made a separate assessment of recent research into Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
It is anticipated that the NICE guidance will help the estimated 5 per cent of patients who have severe Crohn's Disease. Infliximab has not been recommended by NICE as a possible treatment for sufferers of ulcerative colitis.
The Medical Research Council funds several projects on basic mechanisms regulating the function of the gastrointestinal tract in normal and disease function. dietary regulation of intestinal function, cellular and molecular mechanisms of gastrointestinal diseases and neuroendocrine control of the gut. Increasing our understanding of how the intestine functions will facilitate the development of therapeutic agents to treat acute intestinal inflammation and chronic diseases such as Crohn's and IBD.