Around 58,000 people will die of mesothelioma between now and 2014, the government has revealed. In response to a question in Parliament from Lord Alton of Liverpool, Department of Work and Pensions minister Lord Freud said, “The annual number of mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain is projected to peak towards the end of this current decade.
“The statistical model used suggests an uncertainty range of 53,000 to 64,000 deaths on that estimate. However, the true uncertainty range may be wider as longer-range predictions are reliant on assumptions about asbestos exposures that cannot currently be fully validated.”
Mesothelioma deaths have been rising steadily over the last ten years, the House of Lords was told.
Lord Alton also chased progress on negotiations with the Association of British Insurers, and the role played by Government, over long-term funding for research into the treatment of mesothelioma. Health minister Lord Howe told Parliament in July, “In April this year, I convened a high level meeting between the Association of British Insurers and the British Lung Foundation (BLF) to discuss how insurers can remain engaged in support for mesothelioma research following earlier donated funding.
“Departmental officials attended this meeting. Discussions between the BLF and insurers are ongoing. The Department has no direct role in these discussions but is monitoring progress.
“Any further funding made available by insurers for mesothelioma research will be in addition to existing sources of public funding. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has highlighted to the research community that it wants to encourage research applications in mesothelioma.”