NHS research boost
Scotland is to further cement its reputation as a global centre of excellence for clinical research.
Patients could participate in trials to test more groundbreaking treatments as a result of the plans to appoint Scotland as a ‘Prime Site’ by Quintiles, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical services.
The announcement, which was made at the inaugural NHS Research Scotland (NRS) conference, will accelerate the development of new medical therapies for the people of Scotland.
As a Prime Site, Scotland will be promoted globally as a centre of excellence for research and will receive more groundbreaking clinical trials.
It means Scotland will also benefit from significant investment, and builds on Scotland’s existing partnership with PPD, another large research firm, which was announced earlier in 2012. Scotland joins Prime Sites in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa
Speaking at the NRS conference, Health Secretary Alex Neil also launched a new research register, which aims to recruit patients to participate in clinical trials.
The Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE) will establish a database of individuals who are willing to participate in trials, with the aim of getting one million registered users within the next five years.
In addition, Mr Neil announced a second round of NHS Career Researcher Fellowships, which are awarded to outstanding Scottish clinicians to carry out NHS research. This will invest £1 million per year over the next three years, and builds on the previous 34 fellowships which have already been awarded, bringing the total investment over a four year period to £6 million.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said:
“These developments demonstrate the importance that we place on research within NHSScotland, and will help to further enhance Scotland’s growing reputation as a global centre of excellence for clinical research.
“Bringing more research trials to Scotland will reap benefits for patients, by speeding up the development of new medical therapies and enhancing the health care treatment options that are on offer for patients.
“Through the Scottish Health Research Register and the appointment of more research fellowships, we can also continue to build on the amount of clinical research being carried out in Scotland.
“Continued investment in clinical research will undoubtedly bring great health and wealth benefits to Scotland.”
Lindy Jones, Senior Vice-President, Integrated Site Services, Quintiles added:
“Scotland has a significant burden of disease and there is a huge need to speed the drug development process in order to develop treatments that enable people to live healthier lives.
“We already have a successful track record in joint working in Scotland and we are proud to be working together to further enhance our ability to recruit patients and investigators who are critical to an efficient and effective drug development process.”
NHS Research Scotland (NRS) is a collaboration involving Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of the Scottish Government.