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Patients to be made aware of drugs trials

Health Secretary, Alan Johnson has announced that NHS patients will have the opportunity to participate in medical trials
Health Secretary, Alan Johnson has announced that NHS patients will have the opportunity to participate in medical trials.

The plans mean that patients nationally will have the right to be notified of research into illnesses or diseases that are relevant to them. Subject to meeting specific criteria, patients will also be able to participate in appropriate trials.

"I want every patient in the NHS to have the right to take part in approved medical research that is appropriate for them, if they choose to," said Johnson.

These plans are welcomed by many research charities including Cancer Research UK. Harpal Humar, CEO said: "It [the announcement] shows a commitment to provide more information about the health research taking place in this country, and to involve and recruit more patients in clinical trials. This is good news for patients, both now and in the future."

As part of the NHS' commitment to research, Academic Health Science Centres will be established. These centres will bring together universities and hospitals to provide expert research, education and clinical functions in a single location.

Software, known as EDGE, to be used by the NHS to manage patient participation in clinical trials is due to be launched at the Association of British Healthcare Industries' annual conference in London on June 25, 2008.

24th June 2008

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