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Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money the Government spent on AIDS research in the financial year 1999-2000; how many new AIDS cases became diagnosed in that year; and how many deaths arising from contraction of AIDS occurred in that year. 
Yvette Cooper: In the financial year 1999-2000, we spent £20.2 million on HIV/AIDS research 1 . During the same period, 3,714 new HIV/AIDS cases were diagnosed in the UK and 418 deaths due to HIV/AIDS were reported to have occurred.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received concerning overhead powerlines; and what recent research his Department has undertaken on this subject. 
Yvette Cooper: A number of letters have been received from Members of Parliament, research organisations, pressure groups and individual members of the public, concerning the possibility of health effects associated with proximity to power lines.
The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) provides advice to us on these matters. In 1992, and again in 1994, the NRPB's Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation examined the evidence for an association between the incidence of cancer and exposure to electromagnetic fields and concluded that there was no clear evidence of an adverse health effect at the levels of electromagnetic field to which the public is normally exposed. There have been continuing concerns about this issue and the Advisory Group keeps the relevant research under review. The Group will be publishing a comprehensive review of the more recent studies in the next few months.
Yvette Cooper: The Department is currently funding both epidemiological and laboratory studies on powerlines and cancer. The Department also contributes to the World Health Organization International Electromagnetic Fields Project and has supported the United Kingdom Childhood Cancer Study.
In 1992, and again in 1994, the National Radiological Protection Board's Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation examined the evidence for an association between the incidence of cancer and exposure to electromagnetic fields and concluded that there was no clear evidence of an adverse health effect at the levels to
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Yvette Cooper: The information on additives by brand supplied by major United Kingdom tobacco companies is published in the Health Select Committee's recent report, "The tobacco industry and the health risks of smoking", Minutes of Evidence and Appendices (Appendix 32 to 36). The Report and evidence of the Committee are published by the Stationery Office of the House and can be accessed by internet at www.parliament.uk/commons/hsecom/htm
Yvette Cooper: This year, we have extended the recommended groups for influenza immunisation to include everyone aged 65 and over, irrespective of their underlying health, as well as younger people in established high risk groups. This increase has led to record numbers of vaccine being made available, nearly 11 million this year compared to 7.8 million last year, an increase of 40 per cent.
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) wrote to all general practitioners in May informing them of the change in policy and asked them as a matter of urgency to review their list of people eligible to receive the flu vaccine, and, order additional vaccine if required. A further letter was issued from the CMO on 1 August to all GP's reminding them to order extra vaccine if they had not already done so.
Latest figures as at 31 October, show that 9.5 million doses of vaccine have already been distributed. This, along with the amount of vaccine still to be delivered, is a sufficient amount to exceed our immunisation target of 60 per cent. for this year.
GPs order their supply of flu vaccine direct from manufacturers. This year there are five suppliers of flu vaccine. Unfortunately one of the manufacturers, Solvay, has encountered problems in growing a strain of the vaccine which has led to delays in some deliveries. Solvay have been in touch with the affected GPs to tell them details of any delays, but have confirmed that all ordered vaccine will be delivered by the end of November, in time to protect people this winter.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration the National Institute for Clinical Excellence has given to the social costs of the refusal to supply beta interferon to multiple sclerosis sufferers. 
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The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) carries out appraisals in accordance with its framework document. This document states that
"its task is to assess the evidence of all the clinical and other health-related benefits of an intervention--taking this in a wide sense, to include impact on quality of life, relief of pain or disability etc as well as any impact on likely length of life--to estimate the associated costs, and to reach a judgment on whether on balance this intervention can be recommended as a cost-effective use of NHS and PSS resources". Copies of NICE's Framework document are available in the Library.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of the new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease care package will be earmarked for assisting in the early identification of the symptoms of the disease; 
Yvette Cooper: Patients will have access to the full range of services provided by the National Health Service and Social Services departments. The Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Care Package Fund is intended to ensure that people diagnosed as having CJD have rapid access to comprehensive, appropriate packages of care. The speed of diagnosis in cases of CJD is improving all the time and the CJD Surveillance Unit continues to work towards further improvement.
Yvette Cooper: No patient diagnosed as "definite" or "probable" vCJD by the National CJD Surveillance Unit has ever been found to have been suffering from another disease. Since March 1996 the Unit has had a significant number of suspected cases referred to them that, on further investigation, have turned out not to be vCJD cases.
Yvette Cooper: The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit (CJDSU) continues to investigate all cases referred to it as possible variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and keeps diagnostic criteria under constant review. Expanded criteria which allowed "probable vCJD" to be diagnosed for the first time in patients who are still alive were published in March 2000 in a Department of Health press release (2000/0153). All general practitioners were informed about these criteria in August 2000, through the Chief Medical Officer's Update. In addition, the CJDSU regularly sends reminders and updates on vCJD to neurologists throughout the United Kingdom.
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Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what further research into the incubation period of CJD will be undertaken, and by whom, following the contraction of the disease by a 74-year-old. 
Yvette Cooper: The Government-funded National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit (CJDSU) continues to investigate all cases of variant CJD (vCJD) referred to it and analyses data collected to try and identify any common factors which might shed light on the route of exposure and the possible incubation period.
Yvette Cooper: Details of Government funded research projects on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) including variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) are available on the Medical Research Council's website (http://www.mrc.ac.uk/tse-2c.htm).
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