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NHS Confederation calls for action to halt loss of clinical trials from UK

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3665 (Published 09 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3665
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

The European Commission must produce clearer, simpler regulations on clinical trials to prevent the UK health services losing out to other countries in hosting studies and making new treatments available to patients, says the NHS Confederation, the body that represents most NHS organisations in England.

Opportunities for patients in the United Kingdom to take part in clinical trials and for clinicians to gain expertise in new drugs is being hampered because of “bureaucratic” European Union rules, says the confederation.

The UK’s involvement in global clinical trials has “dropped dramatically” since the European Union’s Clinical Trials Directive (2001/20/EC) was introduced in the UK in 2004.

The European Commission is consulting on revisions to the directive, which was brought in to promote good clinical practice and harmonise clinical trial activity across the …

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