National charity calls on the Government to make Crohn's Disease a notifiable condition
22 April 1999
National medical charity calls on the Government to make Crohn’s Disease a notifiable condition
Top medical research charity Action Research is calling upon the Government to instigate a comprehensive research programme into Crohn’s Disease and to make it a notifiable condition.
It is believed that this inflammatory bowel disorder could be costing the nation as much as £240 million a year in direct health care costs alone.
Action Research funded important studies which developed the tests used to demonstrate the link between Crohn’s Disease and mycobacterium paratuberculosis (MparaTB), present in a proportion of the national milk supply.
New evidence suggests the bacterium may also be present in water which is used as a source of drinking water.
Professor Hermon-Taylor’s research has shown that a very high proportion of Crohn’s patients react to MparaTB. It is now thought that there are about 80,000 sufferers in the UK although the full extent of the disease in the UK is not known as it is not a notifiable condition. This is despite the fact that Hermon-Taylor’s called upon the Department of Health in 1995 for it to be made notifable. It is known to be more prevalent than the much higher profile CJD and even AIDS.
``It is possible that the treatment of Crohn’s Disease is costing the nation as much as £240 million each year, not to mention the cost of benefits paid to sufferers. It is vital that Crohn’s be made a notifiable disease so that we can at last understand the full extent of the problem and identify those who may be particularly at risk,’’ said Anne Luther Director General of Action Research.
She added: ``A comprehensive research programme by the Government is essential to establish how to eliminate this bacterium from the milk supply and to test it for its presence in other sources.’’
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