NIHR heralds new high in UK clinical trial participation

A new report by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network shows that more than 630,000 NHS patients in England took part in clinical research studies last year – the highest level since the Network’s figures began.

Of particular interest to commercial sponsors, the Network’s new Annual Statistics document, which covers the period April 2012 to March 2013, reported:

  • A 17% increase in the number of new commercial contract research studies receiving support from the Network, taking the number of studies supported to 455
  • A 19% increase in the number of patients engaged in commercial contract studies, with 20,500 recruited across the year. This continues the upward trend of the last two years.
  • A 1% increase in the proportion NHS Trusts in England conducting commercial contract clinical research to 63%

In addition, trend data has revealed that:

  • The number of commercial contract studies delivering to 100% time and target has doubled since 2010
  • With Network support, it now takes just 61 days (median figure) to gain NHS permission to conduct a commercial contract study across ALL sites involved in the study
  • The Network recruited the first global patient into 11 studies in the period September 2012 – March 2013.

Commenting on the increase in patient participation in clinical research, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally C Davies, said: “I am very pleased that NHS Trusts are embracing the research agenda, and that yet again we have seen the level of patient participation in clinical research studies increase. This shows that the infrastructure the government has put in place for clinical research delivery is working effectively and, most importantly, generating valuable opportunities for patients to take part in studies.”