On 21 March 2023, the UK Government published its response to the consultation on legislative reform proposals for clinical trials that took place from January to March 2022.
The current legislation governing clinical trials in the UK is the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004, as amended. This implements the EU Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC and has not been amended to align with the subsequently introduced EU Clinical Trials Regulation 536/2014.
The proposed reforms centre on delivering “a more agile and flexible UK regulatory framework”, as part of the Government’s broader ambition to create a more appealing regulatory environment for life sciences innovation in the UK. The emphasis on promoting clinical research in the UK was highlighted by the recent Government announcement of an independent review into UK clinical trials, prompted by figures suggesting that the number of industry clinical trials initiated in the UK per year fell by 41% between 2017 and 2021. In addition, a decline in public engagement with clinical research (with a 44% drop in the number of participants recruited to commercial clinical trials in the last five years) highlights the need for reform in this area.
The Government’s proposed reforms involve streamlining the procedures supporting the approval and conduct of clinical trials, removing duplicative requirements, and enabling flexibility in a risk-based and proportionate manner.
The proposals also envisage a clinical trials regime that requires greater transparency and encourages, though notably will not require, a diverse range of patient and public involvement.
The main proposals with which the Government intends to move forward are discussed below.
Continue Reading Legislative Proposals for Clinical Trials Aim to Streamline, Simplify and Stimulate UK-based Innovation