By Simon McGrath in ME/CFS Research Review.
A patient-led petition asked the Dutch parliament to tackle ME properly. It instructed the Government to take action, which eventually led to the Dutch health research agency recommending a €25m biomedical research programme. Patients are playing a central role in the process.
The Dutch national health research agency ZonMw is proposing spending around €25m (£23m, $29m) on exclusively biomedical research over the next ten years. The Dutch government looks set to accept the proposal, once the final version is submitted, probably early next year.
The Netherlands is a small country (population 17 million), making this a very substantial investment per head. Allowing for the much larger US population, it would be like the NIH committing $500m over ten years.
Patients have played a central role in making this happen and drawing up the plans — and will be an integral part of the new research programme.
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