IAOCR, an accrediting body for the clinical research industry, has made an “urgent call” for letters of support from chief executives of clinical research organisations (CROs) to the UK Department of Health and Social Care, which is due to consider a funding application for more high throughput clinical research centres in the UK.
According to the IAOCR, additional high throughput centres in the UK’s national health services (NHS), would benefit patients, industry, and “present a crucial element in making the UK competitive.”
“These centres will be staffed with clinical professionals that are competent in conducting clinical trials and whose work is dedicated entirely to this purpose [and] accredited through a system of independent verification of competence and provide a benchmark for the clinical trial industry,” IAOCR CEO Jacqueline Johnson North told us.
The setting up of these centres could also help improve patient outcomes, cost efficiencies, and attract foreign investment, she added.
According to IAOCR, industry support would “provide invaluable backing” for the initiative, as well help raise the profile for CROs in the UK at a parliamentary level: “The role of CROs and the funding they bring to the NHS through clinical trials is largely unrecognised within UK parliament.”
Brexit: An opportunity?
With the UK planning its withdrawal from the European Union, Johnson North said now is the time for the UK to present itself as a “country of choice” for the conduct of clinical trials.
“This can be achieved through a combination of initiatives which result in trials being set-up and conducted efficiently and effectively, making the UK a centre of excellence and securing the industry’s future,” she told us.
The UK needs to think about their role in the international clinical research industry, and what this could be following Brexit; there is huge potential, said North.
“The UK can use this opportunity to set new standards,” she added.