Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 25 February, 1997

Written Answers. - Hepatitis C Research.

115. Mr. Cowen asked the Minister for Health when the research work into hepatitis C carried out by former professionals at the Royal College of Surgeons will be published; if he has given any direction to ensure the publication of the research; the reason for the delay in its publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5244/97]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): The Deputy will be aware that, as part of the package of health care agreed with interested parties, I have made £1 million available to the Health Research Board over the next five years, to fund a programme of research into hepatitis C. This research takes the form of eight different projects, the most significant of these being the establishment of a special hepatitis C research unit.

The specific research to which I presume the Deputy is referring will, inter alia, contribute to a wider research project which involves all six of the special hepatology clinics where hepatitis C patients are treated. The purpose of the project is to create a clinical database. Because of the number of centres involved, a significant degree [812] of co-ordination is required in order to ensure the accuracy of the data. I understand that a research paper on hepatitis C based on the database will be submitted for publication within the coming weeks, in line with the usual Protocols governing scientific-medical research.

Individual research within the Royal College of Surgeons prior to the Health Research Board-sponsored research has not been funded by the Department of Health.