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NIHR streamlines clinical trials service for pharma

Aims to help speed up studies in the NHS in England

NIHR Clinical Research NetworkThe National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has updated the NHS clinical trials service it provides the pharmaceutical industry in a bid to make it easier and quicker to use.

Funded by the UK's Department of Health, the NIHR's Clinical Research Network works on around 73 per cent of all phase II-IV MHRA-approved commercial studies in the NHS, providing advice and support on making the study work within the healthcare system.

Improvements to the service will see a single online industry application gateway, to which pharma companies will only have to upload their applications once; new early feedback, trial site intelligence and site identification services; and a central Industry Information Centre.

There will also be a streamlined, faster process for applications – turning around the previous process by which life science companies had to apply to have their study 'adopted' by the Network and receive initial feasibility advice, a process that typically took around six weeks.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser at the Department of Health, said: “A cost-effective environment for clinical research is vital if we are to fulfill our ambition to attract more trials of new medicines, devices and diagnostics for the benefit of NHS patients.

“It's a key focus for the NIHR Clinical Research Network and these streamlined services will make an important contribution to the Government's Strategy for UK Life Sciences.”

In designing the new service, the NIHR Clinical Research Network worked closely with the industry to define customer needs.

One industry representative was Lilly's director of clinical operations strategy Neelam Patel, who led the project to the pilot phase.

She said: “The collaborative and transparent approach between the Network and Industry is what has made the pilot phase of this project a success. Stripping back the process and asking the customer what they want has played a vital part in streamlining and delivering a service that will work for them.”

14th May 2013

From: Research

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