In the United Kingdom, we have an expectation of high quality, effective health services which are freely available at the point of demand in the form of the National Health Service (NHS). But have recent efforts to ensure a consistent standard of service throughout the UK had knock-on effects on the ability of clinicians to carry out essential clinical research?
Authors Ng and Weilding argue in a new commentary published in Trials that whilst managed clinical networks (MCNs) and clinical research networks (CRNs) exist to ensure both the quality and equitable distribution of health services, that in practice they actually have made the setting up and conducting of clinical trials in the UK considerably more complex.
Ng and Weilding suggest that the stringent UK Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations – put in place in 2004 following the European Clinical Trials Directive – coupled with greater administrative requirements resulting from MCNs and CRNs themselves, may actually discourage clinicians from undertaking clinical studies, and could result in the failure of some trials.
Do Ng and Weilding’s findings of unnecessary barriers and bureaucracy represent the best possible landscape for the testing and future approval of interventions?
The impact of networks on clinical trials in the United Kingdom
Sze May Ng, Alan Michael Weindling
Assistant Journal Development Editor