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Body needed to regulate health research

11th January 2011

A report by the Academy of Medical Sciences has called for the creation of a new organisation which will regulate health research in the UK.

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The writers of the report said that a "one-stop shop" would work far better than the regulations which controlled the current system, which they described as "unnecessarily complex and burdensome".

The report said that the creation of a health research agency would speed up the approval of projects and would cost less.

Andrew Lansley said the government would think about how the report's advice could be put into use.

The involvement of the UK in clinical trials is in decline. Research showed that 6% of patients in trials were from the UK, but by 2006 the number was less than 3%.

The new agency, according to the report, would exist as the sole body able to award approval for new projects and would include the work of the National Research Ethics Services and a number of other specialist organisations.

Professor Peter Johnson, who works for Cancer Research UK and participated in the report, said: "It takes an average of 621 days between awarding a research grant and the first patient taking part in the trial."

"We've built a Rolls Royce and are driving it down a cart track," he added.

 

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