MP backs Parliamentary motion for a new mesothelioma research scheme
Mesothelioma occurs following exposure to the deadly asbestos fibres which are still present in many buildings. Approximately 2,500 people die from mesothelioma every year in the UK. The numbers are not predicted to fall before 2017 at the earliest.
Mr Morris says: “Mesothelioma is a traumatic disease and has had a devastating impact on thousands of families in County Durham. It often takes 40-50 years for symptoms to present themselves after exposure so it is vital we invest in research now for the long term.”
In terms of research funding mesothelioma receives considerably less in relation to other major cancers. Bowel cancer research gets £22 million, breast cancer research gets £41 million and leukaemia research £32 million. Mesothelioma in contrast receives just £1.4 million.
The Parliamentary motion states that mesothelioma is an invasive form of lung cancer and recognises there is no cure for the disease. It goes on to note the UK has the highest rate of the disease in the world and over the next 30 years more than 50,000 people will die of mesothelioma unless new treatments are found. It calls on the Government to facilitate the establishment of a long-term sustainable mesothelioma research scheme funded by the insurance industry.
Mr Morris added: “I am appalled that funding for this aggressive and terminal disease, with life expectancy from diagnosis only 9 months, receives such little research funding compared to other cancers.
Important legislation has recently been passed that ensures mesothelioma sufferers, once denied compensation because they couldn’t trace former employers or their insurance companies, will now receive 75% of the compensation they would have been entitled to from a specially created fund through a levy on insurance companies.
I believe victims of mesothelioma should receive 100% of the compensation they are entitled too, however, since these proposals have been rejected, I believe this unrecovered money should be used to fund a long term research scheme, to the benefit of all sufferers and to give hope to the victims of mesothelioma.”
EDM 93 – MESOTHELIOMA RESEARCH FUNDING
That this House notes with concern that mesothelioma is an invasive form of lung cancer caused primarily by prior exposure to asbestos; recognises that there is currently no cure for this devastating disease and that mesothelioma patients frequently have a very short life expectancy and experience complex debilitating symptoms; further notes that the UK has the highest rate of the disease in the world and that over the next 30 years more than 50,000 people will die of mesothelioma in the UK unless new treatments are found; believes that investment in research into the causes and potential cures for mesothelioma is desperately needed; and calls on the Government to facilitate the establishment of a long-term sustainable mesothelioma research scheme funded by the insurance industry.