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New clinical trials data shows the impact of combined review

Last updated on 21 Jul 2022

New data shows that combined review for clinical trials considerably reduces the length of time taken to approve health research in the UK.

The Life science competitiveness indicators, published today by the Office for Life Sciences (OLS), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) reflect progress towards the Life Sciences Vision, and work done by the HRA to work with partners to build on lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic to make the UK a great place to do health and social care research.

In 2020, the last full year of data, the UK spent £2.7bn on health research, third in the world behind America and Japan.

Timelines for clinical trial set up place the UK as seventh out of ten nations, predominately because of delays to site set up.

Dr Janet Messer, Director of the Approvals service, said:

Dr Janet Messer

‘We’re delighted that it’s clear to see the impact of combined review. Our work with the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has halved the time it takes for studies to get approval and cuts the time from application to recruiting a first patient by 40 days. All clinical trials are now reviewed in this way and this benefits both triallists and participants.

More broadly, the HRA is now working with partners to help speed up the set-up of clinical research in the NHS. We know that the UK is a great place for innovative model of research, and we encourage researchers to approach the HRA about running decentralised and other complex innovative designs in the UK.’

Dr Janet Messer
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