Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to place fibromyalgia in a distinct medical category of its own to facilitate research.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Classification of diseases and disorders is achieved through international clinical and scientific consensus.

The current version of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD10) includes fibromyalgia under ‘Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue’ in the category ‘Other soft tissue disorders, not elsewhere classified’. ICD-11, which will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by member states, includes fibromyalgia under ‘General symptoms, signs or clinical findings’ in the category of ‘chronic widespread pain’.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including fibromyalgia. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions; applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. NIHR support for fibromyalgia research over the last five years includes £1.8 million funding for research projects and £0.6 million funding for clinical trials through the NIHR Clinical Research Network. The NIHR has also managed infrastructure supporting fibromyalgia research. Information on individual projects funded by the NIHR can be found at the following link:

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