Even pharma must understand the perils of Schwanning about in a storm

On New Year’s Eve I took my family up ‘The Shard,’ London’s newest and tallest landmark.  As we looked Eastwards a squall was readying itself over the North Downs; the latest in a succession of storms to batter our shores over the past few weeks.  Low-flying clouds threatened to swallow us whole.  The wind roared around […]

Big month in Brussels for clinical trials…but let’s not be hasty

It’s going to be a ‘big-ish’ month in the EU for clinical trials. By most accounts, EU legislators will reach a compromise agreement on the proposed new Clinical Trials Regulation in time for Christmas.  The key focus for industry bodies is around making sure the legislation embraces aggressive timelines for the approval of clinical trials. Remind me, isn’t […]

@RBandH Guest blog: Promoting Clinical Research Locally – From ‘OK to Ask’ to Research Changed my Life

Promoting Clinical Research Activities and Opportunities Locally – From OK to Ask to Research Changed my Life Mark Terry, Research Office, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (m.terry@rbht.nhs.uk) 2013 has been notable for the strong momentum provided by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to NHS Trusts in our efforts to raise awareness of […]

Exclusive preview! UK clinical research gets its own TV show…..Downtown eat your heart out @NIHRCRN

So here’s something to make your crumpet and jam just a bit more palatable on Sunday afternoon…Thanks to NIR CRN. This week Health Sector TV will be broadcasting a programme entitled ‘Clinical Research: Making Patients and the NHS Better.’ The blurb says that this is ‘an important new documentary highlighting how the Clinical Research Network (as […]

Do I detect a slight fumble of the ball in today’s Commons Select Committee report on clinical trials?

Not for the first time I was awake at 3am this morning. Cup of tea in hand, watching American football.  It’s amazing how those players keep the ball when so many other players are piling on top of them.  Rarely do you see the thing break free.  They must practice for hours…. The House of Commons […]

Take part in a live trial now as part of NIHR’s visit to the British Science Festival #NIHRCOMETtrial

I hope you’ll forgive the fact that what follows is the news release but I am part of the team presenting with Jonathan Sheffield at next week’s British Science Festival and I really couldn’t put it better than this.  The ‘live trial’ is very exciting indeed and the first dip in the water for a […]

Survey: Cancer patients and research – the signage is there but not the opportunity to take part

You know how the story goes.  Cancer is way ahead of other conditions when it comes to patients having the opportunity to participate in clinical research.  But there’s still lots of room for improvement. Today NHS England has announced the results of the annual National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.  Almost 70,000 patients took part in […]

An unleaked memo on sorry pharma and the silly season

Or should that be silly pharma…I don’t know. Yes, our colleagues from pharma have stolen the march on everyone else and got the silly season off to a grand old start. I am referring, of course, to the leaked memo from the European and American pharma trade associations dutifully covered by Ian Semple at The […]

It’s NIHR Friday: NHS Trust research activity stats published

You didn’t think I’d forget NIHR Friday did you? So the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Networks Co-ordinating Centre (NIHR CRN CC), together with The Guardian online, has this week published its annual performance tables for research activity in each NHS Trust in England for 2012/13. You can find the figures for your local […]

It’s NIHR Friday – Public involvement: did the research network move for you?

NIHR Clinical Research Network Survey Patient and Carer (Lay) Involvement in Research: Your Experience The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Patient and Public Involvement Steering Group is running a survey to capture how being involved in research impacts on patients and carers. You should take part in this survey if […]

Political spotlight on Health Research Authority (HRA) intensifies

I am sure the new Health Research Authority (HRA) can take care of itself.  But the expectations being heaped on it by others show no signs of abating. I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow someone calls on it to cure cancer. If it had been created by a Blair Government it would surely have been […]

New websites launched for people looking to join a clinical trial; but will patients want a ‘coming together’ at some point?

This week, patients got a couple more options for finding out about clinical trials they can take part in. Patientslikeme (which was launched in the United States a few years ago) has unveiled its new new clinical trials site which you can find here.   Patientslikeme is capturing a lot of attention here in the UK […]

OECD wades into clinical trials debate, but statement on public involvement goes awol

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday waded into the increasingly feverish debate about the regulation of clinical trials with a strongly worded recommendation calling on its members to harmonise approval processes.  The recommendation which is worded with the minimum of fuss, is backed by a more detailed explanatory memorandum. But I am […]

A bit of a public involvement mash-up including that idea for an NHS Civil Society Assembly

So here’s my unsubstantiated personal theory. It is that one of the root causes of the problems besetting today’s NHS’ is our failure to pay proper heed to the growing crisis in accountability and responsibility that has been a feature of our increasingly complex health system over the last seventy years.  From almost the day […]

‘Best left alone’ is not the motto we want for our health regulators

It being half-term you can never have enough travel games on hand. Current favourites for me are: a) guessing who will be the new Director of the Wellcome Trust and; b) thinking of  a name for the body  created if you merged all the current Research Councils into one. I did apply for the former […]

Charity right on Target with patient insights on clinical trials: where are the others?

This evening I have been reading a fascinating report about women with ovarian cancer and their access to clinical trials. Last week, Target Ovarian Cancer published the results of their 2012 Pathfinder Study.  It is an excellent piece of work.  What I like about it is that it digs around issues to do with choice […]

Public have their say on clinical trials gateway

This is already doing the rounds on twitter but I thought I would share the email/letter that I have sent out to those who took part in the survey…. I am pleased to let you know that the results of the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG) Patient and Public Survey conducted last summer have been […]

Patient View Report: Pharma industry’s lack of transparency harming reputation with patients

Earlier this week Patient View published the results of its annual tracker of the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation among patient groups. The latest study surveyed 600 patient groups (72% of them from Europe). As well as asking patient groups to rank 29 pharmaceutical companies by various indices (such as whether their practices were patient-centred) – Lundbeck […]