Medicines Development Policy Manager, ABPI
Clinical research is helping us deliver a new generation of breakthrough treatments, with the pharmaceutical industry currently working on thousands of new medicines and vaccines.
The UK has always had a global reputation for world-leading medical research and does well in early phase clinical trials. However, we could do more when it comes to later-stage, phase III trials.
Making the UK a hub for clinical trials
This International Clinical Trials Day is a chance to take stock; to review what we have learned from the incredible response to the pandemic and see what changes we can implement to make the UK an even more attractive destination for cutting-edge, patient-centred research in the future.
A new vision for clinical research, launched recently by the four governments of the UK, is a timely blueprint for where we want to get to. Now there are three things we must do to make that ambition a reality.
We want to give all patients the chance to benefit from taking part in research.
The first is restarting research across the UK and across all diseases, following the devastation that the pandemic has wrought over the past year.
Next, we need to work collaboratively as a sector – bringing researchers together from academia, industry, the NHS and the charity sector – to transform the UK clinical research environment with the resources to increase levels of research beyond pre-COVID levels.
Putting patients at the heart of research
We need to also ensure in those plans that we put patients front and centre. We want to give all patients the chance to benefit from taking part in research, so patients need to be involved and engaged throughout – from designing trials to reporting results.
Delivering so many vaccines for COVID-19 so soon after the virus was discovered is a testament to the power of collaboration in clinical research. Now we have a chance to go further, with a plan to embed clinical research into the health and care system, we should take it.