It's all over the media today...... Only about one third of the British public say they trust the evidence derived from medical research. Confronted with media hype, claim versus counter-claim, a paucity of good quality accessible information and time-short GPs, and with few reliable tools to help them, patients are struggling to make sense of … Continue reading A good dose of public insight is needed to help the medicine go down – new @acmedsci report! #evidence
I hope those MPs who have yet to decide how to vote in tomorrow's parliamentary debate on the statutory instrument on mitochnodrial donation - 'three-person babies' - will take a few minutes to listen to Sharon Bernardi in this BBC News report from the weekend. Sharon has lost seven children to mitochonria disease and her appeal for this legislation … Continue reading Churches’ late showing on ‘three-person baby’ issue is based on a wing and prayer not evidence
Today the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Medical Research holds its summer reception in parliament. This annual event has become an important fixture on the health research calendar. The 'great and the good' assemble to focus on a key issue of the day and to network. At some point in proceedings they will be addressed by … Continue reading Spend £1 on cancer research and get 40p back every year: what’s not to like?
An early start today finds me waiting for a flight to Belfast where I am speaking at the 9th Scientific Conference of the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS) charity. Just time enough to pen a quick blog then. Lucky me. Poor you. Last night I was looking at my papers for a meeting … Continue reading Avoiding Laurel and Hardy when it comes to science can be difficult for the public
First, a brief history of time in the Europe Union (EU). It goes slowly. That's it! For the last two years or so the European Commission has been consulting on plans to revise the European Clinical Trials Directive. The Directive has been in force since 2001. Researchers hate it. To be fair so do many … Continue reading At last! A patient-centred statement on the proposed EU Clinical Trials Regulation
Today I started to think about the forthcoming INVOLVE national conference. More particularly, what I want to say to this important gathering in less than a month's time. This will be my first conference since taking over as Chair in June 2011 and, since then of course, I have also taken on the new National … Continue reading Friday musings about tsars, conferences and stratified medicines
The Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) today published its report of the meeting it held a few months ago, looking at progress with improving the regulatory of environment for medical research. I blogged about being a panellist at the meeting as you may recall. The report's conclusions are noteworthy for the second bullet point about public … Continue reading The Academy reports on research regulation…and a reminder of the Guardian’s Q&A about public involvement
I thought the following interviews might be of general interest. Both are with recently appointed science leaders. Both, among other things, major on the need for greater collaboration in research. Times Higher Educational Supplement (THES) interviews the new President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Sir John Tooke. Sir John chaired the discussion panel I was … Continue reading Science interviews: Tooke goes collaborative, and Glover is not overcome by emotion
It is International Clinical Trials Day today and The Cochrane Library has worked with the UK Medical Research Council's Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research to produce a set of new podcasts about clinical trials - well worth a listen. There was a conference in Vienna this morning organised by the European Clinical Research … Continue reading International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up
Tomorrow is Budget day. Having just finished AMRC's own budget and business plan for 2011-2012 all I can say is: George you know where I am if you want to crunch some last minute numbers? The Financial Times is reporting today that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will announce a £100million cash injection for capital … Continue reading Science and the budget, peer review and a spot of crowd-sourcing
What better starting point for today's blog than the comments of two leading clinicians speaking about the importance of clinical trials to patient outcomes. First, Dr Duncan Wheatley, a Clinical Oncologist and Lead for Research in the South West Peninsula, who is quoted in a BBC Cornwall story today about medical research at the Royal … Continue reading Health and social care reforms on trial
Over the weekend Professor Colin Blakemore said he hoped the Academy of Medical Sciences would come up with radical proposals to end the regulatory mess that holds up UK health research such as clinical trials. I am not sure whether he will feel today's report by the Academy lives up to that aspiration, but I do … Continue reading Rawlins Review: Academy lays down law on health research regulation
A piece of good news with which to begin the New Year. PharmaTimes is reporting that the number of patients participating in clinical trials jumped by 67% last year to over half a million (compared to over 300,000 in 2009). The new CEO of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network Co-ordinating Centre (NIHR … Continue reading More NHS patients participating in UK clinical trials than ever before
In a blog 'exclusive' - albeit more by technical chance than design - I am today sharing with you the independent report of the AMRC/INVOLVE patient workshop on health research regulation that took part in early November. We were invited to undertake this important piece of work by the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) as … Continue reading What do patients want from health research regulation?
Some of you may know that today was being dubbed 'Super Wednesday' by some because today is the day that the Department of Health has set out its response to the consultation on the NHS White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.' The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has very helpfully published an … Continue reading NHS white paper next steps
I thought you may be interested in this extract from the Health Minister, Earl Howe's, speech to out AGM on Wednesday: It also gives me pleasure to note [that] AMRC member expenditure on research having exceeded £1 billion for the year for the first time. Given the economic circumstances, I think this is something about which … Continue reading Earl Howe's Speech at the AMRC AGM
This afternoon we have published our response to the Academy of Medical Sciences' call for evidence on proposals for a single research regulator. You can find the full text if you click on the 'AMRC Statements' tab at the top of the page or here. Our submission is based on a survey of our members and … Continue reading Charity support for 'a single research regulator'
I feel I must dedicate this blog to the gentleman who posted an online comment in response to my letter in The Times yesterday, saying it caused him 'metaphor indigestion.' I could almost hear the indefatigable voice of my English teacher, the late Brian Mitchell, behind every word.* So....like the Red Arrows at one of … Continue reading Science in a near miss with Cable but flies on…to Birmingham and China perhaps
I did warn you that things would really get going this week....and with two speeches in as many days you can be forgiven if you feel as if you have taken a left hook and then a right hook in quick succession. Science Minister, David Willetts, was on the stump at a Universities UK conference today. He used … Continue reading Cable and Willetts in show of dual support
On the train home tonight when an email came through announcing a second call for evidence by the Academy of Medical Sciences as part of its independent review of medical research regulation. This call for evidence focuses on the Department of Health review of arms-length bodies and particularly the pros and cons of a new research … Continue reading A new research regulator – Academy calls for evidence