UK to boost clinical trial participation

The UK government will take steps to make sure patients are better informed of opportunities to participate in clinical trials, according to the country's health minister. Doctors in the UK "already have a duty to advise patients, in each patient's best interest, about all aspects of their treatment, including research," a UK Department of Health spokesperson told __The Scientist__ in an Email. But UK Secretary of State for Health linkurl:Alan Johnson,;http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page630

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Jun 24, 2008
The UK government will take steps to make sure patients are better informed of opportunities to participate in clinical trials, according to the country's health minister. Doctors in the UK "already have a duty to advise patients, in each patient's best interest, about all aspects of their treatment, including research," a UK Department of Health spokesperson told __The Scientist__ in an Email. But UK Secretary of State for Health linkurl:Alan Johnson,;http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page6309.asp said that the duty will be clearly laid out in a soon-to-be-released constitution for the country's health service. In a speech he gave yesterday (Jun 24), commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), Johnson outlined plans to make sure patients are told of studies relevant to them and to and make sure information is shared between pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions and other research centers. "I want every patient in the NHS to have the...
ry's health minister. Doctors in the UK "already have a duty to advise patients, in each patient's best interest, about all aspects of their treatment, including research," a UK Department of Health spokesperson told __The Scientist__ in an Email. But UK Secretary of State for Health linkurl:Alan Johnson,;http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page6309.asp said that the duty will be clearly laid out in a soon-to-be-released constitution for the country's health service. In a speech he gave yesterday (Jun 24), commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), Johnson outlined plans to make sure patients are told of studies relevant to them and to and make sure information is shared between pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions and other research centers. "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," Johnson said at the summit, linkurl:according;http://nds.coi.gov.uk/Content/Detail.asp?ReleaseID=371664&NewsAreaID=2 to the UK Department of Health. "And to underline the paramount importance of research, we will set out in the forthcoming NHS constitution the core role that it plays at the heart of the NHS." The NHS constitution will be unveiled this Monday (Jun 30) in the House of Commons, where Parliament will review the document before it's publically released, according to the Email. The Department of Health spokesperson also wrote that the guideline to better inform British patients of clinical trials "will not be a formal rule" in the constitution. "We shall make it easier to use care records confidentially where necessary so that the NHS can identify patients who are suitable for a particular approved study; and then discuss it with them so that they can choose whether to take part." Concurrent with Johnson's speech, the NHS released a linkurl:report;http://www.nihr.ac.uk/files/pdfs/60%20years%20of%20research%20in%20the%20NHS%20benefiting%20patients%20final.pdf yesterday outlining the agency's pledge to enliven clinical trial participation. The report cites an almost $7 billion (USD) yearly pharmaceutical industry contribution to research and development in the UK - 40 percent of which goes towards clinical trials - and underscores the importance of collaboration between universities, government agencies, and pharma and biotech companies. It mentions the linkurl:UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53962/ as a prime example of such a partnership.

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