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Urgent Call for Letters of Support from Chief Executives of CROs for High Throughput Clinical Research Centres in the NHS

CEOs in the clinical research industry have the opportunity this week to positively impact the future of the industry in the UK by providing letters of support for High Throughput Clinical Research Centres in the NHS. The UK Department of Health and Social Care are to consider an application for the funding of High Throughput Clinical Research Centres this summer, and the industry’s support for this initiative will provide invaluable backing.
In addition to demonstrating support for these much-needed centres, the letters will help to raise the profile of individual CROs and the industry as a whole at UK Parliamentary level. This is important because the role of CROs and the funding they bring to the NHS through clinical trials is largely unrecognised within UK parliament with many believing that UK commercial clinical research is conducted by pharmaceutical companies. IAOCR is working with commercial companies, not-for-profit organisations and membership organisations in the UK and USA to change this perception.
High Throughput Centres will be enormously beneficial to patients, the NHS and the industry alike, and present a crucial element in making the UK competitive. The importance has been outlined in a new whitepaper, developed by IAOCR in collaboration with Dr Jonathan Sheffield of the NIHR, entitled “High Throughput Clinical Research Centres in the NHS”. The whitepaper is currently undergoing review by a panel of commercial and non-commercial industry leaders. It will respond to the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy (LSIS) 2017 pledge to increase the number of clinical trials conducted in the UK over the next 5 years by 50%.
“High Throughput Centres will be a major contributing factor to increasing the number of clinical trials in the UK. They will also facilitate the NHS and industry working together, collaboratively for the benefit of patients and all stakeholders,” explained Jacqueline Johnson North, CEO and co-founder, IAOCR. “Currently there is a unique opportunity for CROs to utilise the disruption caused by Brexit and raise their profile in the eyes of the UK Government.”
The whitepaper positions the UK as a primary choice for clinical trials and will be presented to the UK Government in Autumn 2018. High Throughput NHS Centres will be staffed with clinical professionals that are competent in conducting clinical trials and whose work is dedicated entirely to this purpose. They can be accredited through a system of independent verification of competence and set-up within the NHS, providing better patient outcomes and cost efficiencies.
“It is the responsibility of those involved in the sector to secure the future of clinical research in the UK and this is their chance to make a difference. This is a truly unique opportunity provided by Brexit that will have a significant impact on the clinical research industry in the UK, and internationally,” commented Dr Martin Robinson, EVP and Co-founder, IAOCR. “The High Throughput Centres offer a working model based on efficiencies, and the essential requirement of competence-assessed staff could provide huge benefits for clinical trials with both reduced time-scales and costs.”