Share this

Independent review of commercial clinical trials

Independent review of commercial clinical trials

26th May 2023

An independent review of commercial clinical trials in the UK has been published today (26 May).

Led by Lord James O’Shaughnessy, the independent review was commissioned by the UK Government and sets out 27 recommendations intended to deliver major, sustained growth in commercial trial activity.

The review involved extensive engagement with leaders from industry, medical research charities, academia, the NHS, regulators, and other partners in clinical trials.

Whilst it focuses on the systems and structures in England, many of the recommendations made in the review are applicable to the whole system, across all four nations of the UK.

Health Secretary Michael Matheson comments: 

“Recovery and reform of our NHS is a top priority. Fundamental to this is our ability to attract and deliver innovative clinical research trials, so that healthcare evolves, and patient outcomes improve.

We therefore welcome the review of commercial clinical trials in the UK by Lord James O’Shaughnessy, and will support our Chief Scientist Office (CSO) to review the recommendations set out.”

The recommendations span all critical capabilities needed to undertake a successful commercial clinical trial in the UK - from workforce and patient engagement through to set up times, approvals processes, data access and how to incentivise each part of the system to undertake more research.

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak Chief Scientist (Health) at Scottish Government comments:

“Commercial clinical trial activity is vital to our research portfolio in Scotland. We will carefully consider the timely recommendations set out by Lord O’Shaughnessy, and work with colleagues across the sector to take coordinated action.

“Any reduction in commercial clinical trials has negative impacts on patients, our NHS and broader economic growth; so, we must work diligently to secure the long-term future of commercial clinical research.

“Scotland has a well-established model of partnership working across the triple helix of NHS, industry and academia, combined with deep expertise and dedicated research infrastructure - we can build on this and maximise our collaborations across the UK to create an environment where innovative commercial clinical trials thrive.”

The O’Shaughnessy review was commissioned in February 2023 by the UK Government. The review ran from February to May 2023; and officials from devolved administrations attended workshops and discussions which informed the recommendations.

Go back to News