Clinical trial

Clinical trial set-up processes cut by 45% thanks to ‘revolutionary change’

The set-up for clinical trials is now three months quicker thanks to the National Contract Value Review, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has revealed.

The National Contract Value Review, which went live on the 1st of October 2022, is the UK’s standardised method of costing and contracting research.

Before this was implemented, the average time from the first costing submission by the sponsor to the date the first participant agreed to take part in the study was 213 days.

Six months post implementation, analysis was carried out which indicated that this was reduced to just 118 days – a 44.6% reduction.

Health minister, Will Quince, commented: “This initial data is very promising and shows our commitment to improving speed and efficiency in clinical research – not only benefiting patients but also making the UK a more attractive place for research.

“This will ensure a better quality of life for patients both now and in the future as new treatments will be delivered faster, enabling the NHS to continue providing high-quality care.”

The researchers examined different studies that had completed three particular parts of the set up process.

This includes:

  • The time taken for the sponsor’s first costing submission to be reviewed by the lead site and agreed by both parties;
  • The time taken for cost and contract negotiations with all study sites;
  • The time taken from site confirmation to the first participant consenting.

Head of feasibility and start up at NIHR, Laura Bousfield, said the data shows great promise that the National Contract Value Review can cut a significant amount of time from a historically lengthy process.

“This revolutionary change in the way we work is possible because the UK is unique, our health and research ecosystem is unique, and we are global pioneers in this space. More and more countries are reaching out to understand how the UK costing and contracting model works,” added Bousfield.

“It is an exceptional achievement which will make the UK a more attractive prospect for global commercial clinical trials, which will ultimately give NHS patients access to more innovative treatments through participation in those trials.”

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