Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (596)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

596. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the amount spent to date on MS research here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44858/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Addressing the specific funding provided by the Department of Health; my Department is committed to providing resources and capacity for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research that may benefit the 9,000 people in Ireland living with MS, and for others with an MS diagnosis beyond Ireland. Since 2010, the Health Research Board (HRB), the primary agency for disbursement of research funding from my Department, has invested €1.78 million in research related to MS. This has included research on potential treatments, supports for carers of people with MS, causes of MS, enhancement of physical activity and prevention of falls among people with MS, and improving cognition and daily function for people with MS. Currently, the HRB have commitments of €760,000 for MS-specific research. One of these awards includes a co-funded award with MS Ireland through the Medical Research Charities Group with a total value of €166,000. Since 2010, a further €4 million has been invested on research into the aetiology of neurodegeneration more broadly and the most appropriate approach to services.

HRB funding schemes are open calls that are internationally peer-reviewed; funding is not hypothecated for specific conditions, rather to ensure value for public monies it is the quality of the application that is the primary focus of review.