The government has set out its vision for the future of clinical research delivery in a publication, ‘Saving and improving lives: the future of UK clinical research delivery’, which has been developed by the government and devolved administrations, with input from groups including the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
According to a GOV.UK press release, the government wants to deliver faster, more efficient and more innovative research, from the streamlining of costing, contracting and approvals processes to the Health Research Authority’s rapid ethics review pilot, which aims to halve the time to provide a final opinion for research applications.
The National Health Service (NHS) will be encouraged to put the delivery of research at the heart of all of its activities.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Clinical research is the backbone of healthcare – it is the way we improve the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and improves the lives of patients across the country. This has never been more true than in our response to the pandemic.
He added that by taking advantage of the UK’s world-renowned research expertise, as well as a strong partnership between business, academia, the NHS and government, the government is determined to make the UK the best possible place to carry out clinical research that will improve the health of people in the UK, and all across the world.
“Ground-breaking technologies, data and analytics will transform healthcare and save lives. Now is the time to seize the opportunity and make this vision a reality,” he said.
The UK’s contribution during the pandemic has included identifying the first proven treatment for COVID-19, dexamethasone, and making a leading contribution to the international vaccine effort.
Commenting on this and the publication of the UK government’s vision, ABPI chief executive Richard Torbett said: “We’ve seen the power of clinical research in bringing us the vaccines that are now edging us closer to the end of this pandemic.”
He said that today’s vision reflects the shared priorities that the ABPI has for the future of clinical research, and the Association welcomes the framework that sets out how further collaboration to get clinical research back up to speed to build an even stronger research environment in the UK.
“Our members are central to the success of UK science and we are committed to playing our part to embed the lessons from our response to COVID-19 and to deliver on this ambition for NHS patients.”
The vision is built around 5 key themes:
- Clinical research embedded in the NHS: to create a research-positive culture in which all health and care staff feel empowered to support and participate in clinical research as part of their job.
- Patient-centred research: to make access and participation in research as easy as possible for everyone across the UK, including rural, diverse and under-served populations.
- Streamlined, efficient and innovative research: so the UK is seen as the best place in the world to conduct fast, efficient and cutting-edge clinical research.
- Research enabled by data and digital tools: to ensure the UK has the most advanced and data-enabled clinical research environment in the world, building on our unique data assets to improve health and care.
- A sustainable and supported research workforce: which offers rewarding opportunities and exciting careers for all healthcare and research staff of all professional backgrounds – across both commercial and non-commercial research.
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